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Presented to the 

UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO 
LIBRARY 

by the 

ONTARIO LEGISLATIVE 
LIBRARY 



1980 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2013 



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7he WONDERLAND of 
THE EASTERN CONGO 





d. The rare Kivu Crorilla, shot by the Author 
on the Virunga Mountains, and the boy SaHm. 

See p. 86 



The WONDERLAND of 
rrHE EASTERN CONGO 



The Region of the Snow-Crowned Volcanoes 
the Pygmies the Giant Gorilla 
and the Okapi 



By T. ALEXANDER BARNS 
F.R.G.S., F.Z.S., F.E.S. 



G. P. Putnam's Sons 

London y New York 



v^^^*o. 




With an Introduction by 
SIR H. H. JOHNSTON 

G.C.M.G., K.C.B., D.Sc. ^^ ^^ 371 



First printed May 1922 




3a 



Printed in Great Britain by 

BOTOLPH PRINTING WORKS, 
GATE STREET, KINGSWAY 



GRATEFULLY DEDICATED 
TO MY FRIEND AND PATRON 

JAMES JOHN JOICEY, ESQ. 

THE HILL MUSEUM OF LEPIDOPTERA 
WITLEY 



Acknozvledgm^nt for the use of quotations is 
made to Messrs. T. Fisher Unzvin, Ltd., 
the publishers of Mr. Cullen Gouldsbury^s 
poems, " Songs out of Exile " and " From 
the Outposts.'' 



Preface 

As Sir Harry Johnston has been kind enough to interest 
himself in this my first hterary venture — even to the 
extent of writing an introduction — I am not called 
upon to contribute a preface of any considerable length. 

A preface I understand to be the author's own particular 
page, where he may let his fancy roam, slang his publisher, 
and generally kick his heels ; do everything, in short, so 
long as he propitiates his readers. 

I may say at once that, being of a restless nature, and 
writing not being my forte, I would have renounced the 
I composition of this book if I could honestly have done so. 
You, my readers, may of course wish to know why I have 
written it, if the work is uncongenial. One reason is that 
I have a conscience which dubs me a shirker if I leave undone 
something that is worth the doing ; another, that although I 
have reached middle age and have spent more than half 
my life in the African wilds, I am still a little ambitious ; 
and the third is the spur of the naturalist and artist, who 
would wish to place before his public the beauties of this 
African Wonderland which still lie hidden from so many. 

I have attempted to weave into my writing something 
of the fascination and spell of Africa, which bred in the 
solitudes of open plain and primeval forest, grip the traveller 
from first to last — the true Breath from the Veldt. To aid 
me in this I have quoted a number of verses from the poems 
of Cullen Gouldsbury, the African Kiphng — so rich in th^s 
brooding spirit of the wild. 

vii 



Preface 

If I had my way I would have, at least, a round dozen 
of coloured plates bound up with this volume, as I love 
colour and as many of the animals and scenes described in 
this book are inspiring to an artist of wild-life. But to this 
my publisher will not agree. 

When reading this record of my journey and what I 
accomplished, I would kindly ask the indulgent reader to 
remember that this was a " one man show.'* By this I mean 
the expedition was organised and carried out entirely by 
my wife and myself, and, unlike many similar undertakings, 
we had no assistants and little influential Government 
backing. We had to rely entirely on ourselves and on our 
own efforts to carry us over the 3,600 miles of African soil 
across which we travelled. 

The dedication of this book is justly due to Mr. James 
J. Joicey for the financial aid he extended to the expedition 
which was made on his behalf for entomological purposes ; 
therefore — as two dedications are impossible — I here pay 
my tribute to the steadfast courage and splendid comrade- 
ship of my wife, who accompanied me on this and many 
previous expeditions. 

As the cinematograph pictures I obtained en route, which 
I had the honour of showing to the members of the Royal 
Geographical Society, evoked universal admiration, and as 
these may be considered as " screening " the book, it is 
therefore not too much to hope that my readers may also 
find this volume instructive and interesting. 

My thanks are due to Sir Harry Johnston, G.C.M.G., 
K.C.B., etc., for his encouraging introduction to this book 
and to George Talbot, Esq., F.E.S., the Curator of the Hill 
Museum, for the trouble he has taken in revising my MS., 

viii 



I 



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d. Mrs. T. Alexander Barns. 



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Preface 

for his collaboration in writing the chapter dealing with the 
entomological results of the expedition, and for the arranging 
of the illustrations of Lepidoptera. 

THE AUTHOR. 

SS. Guildford Castle (outward bound). 
New Year's Day, 1921. 



IX 



Contents 



CHAPTER PAGE 

I. THE KATANGA i 

II. LAKE TANGANYIKA ii 

III. THE WAHA AND BARUNDI 22 

IV. LAKE CHOHOA AND THE RUANDA .... 35 
V. LAKE KIVU 47 

VI. THE VIRUNGA VOLCANOES 60 

VII. GORILLA HUNTING ....... 72 

VIII. THE RUCHURU AND RUINDI PLAINS . . .91 

IX. THE LIONS OF LAKE EDWARD 107 

X. THE RUWENZORI MOUNTAINS 125 

XL OKAPI HUNTING 146 

XII. WAMBUBA CANNIBALS 166 

XIIL OUR LAST " SAFARI " 181 

XIV. DOWN THE CONGO 212 

XV. ELEPHANTS. . . 224 

XVI. AFRICAN ENTOMOLOGY 248 

XVII. CINEMATOGRAPHY 258 

APPENDIX 265 

INDEX 281 



XI 



List of Illustrations 

FACING 
PAGE 

KIVU GORILLA, SHOT BY THE AUTHOR AND THE BOY SALIM 

Frontispiece 

MRS. T. ALEXANDER BARNS viii 

INSECT LIFE IN ITURI FOREST ix 

KIVU GORILLA, MOUNTED BY MESSRS. ROWLAND WARD, xvi 

TRANSPORTING IRON TELEGRAPH POLES .... 2 

ALBINO NEGRO CHILDREN 3 

MALE AND FEMALE VARANUS LIZARDS .... 4 

RAPHIA PALMS . 5 

KALAMBO FALLS . 12 

CHASM AT FOOT OF KALAMBO FALLS 13 

THE " WHITE MAN'S TREE " AT UJIJI .... 14 

THE OLD MANGO TREE AND STONE 15 

GOTTORP SALT WORKS 18 

HUGE FISH FROM LAKE TANGANYIKA .... 18 

WA-BISA WOMEN 19 

BASKETS FOR STORING GRAIN IN MARKET OF BAIRA . 30 

FORTRESS OF KASULU 30 

AUTHOR " TAKING " A NATIVE DANCE .... 31 

KITEGA 34 

MUGERA 34 

AUTHOR'S WIFE, MSINGA AND LIEUTENANT DEFAWE . 35 

WATUSI NATIVE MAKING A SEVEN FOOT JUMP . . 38 

COAST OF LAKE KIVU 38 

BARUNDI HERD BOY 39 

WATUSI CHIEFTAIN 39 

xiii 



List of Illustrations 



PACING 
PAGE 

A NEGRO MILLIONAIRE 42 

AUDIENCE CHAMBER OF SULTAN MSINGA .... 43 

WATUSI WOMEN 43 

DANSE DE LUXE 46 

SULTAN MSINGA'S LEADING SINGER 46 

WATUSI BOWMAN 47 

" FLOWING RIVER OF LAVA " . . . . . .66 

LIP OF THE CRATER OF NINAGONGO . .... 67 

DOUBLE ERUPTIVE SHAFT OF NINAGONGO, 1910 . . 68 

ERUPTIVE SHAFT AS IT IS TO-DAY 6^ 

EXTINCT VOLCANO OF KARISIMBI 69 

ACTIVE VOLCANO OF NINAGONGO 69 

AUTHOR ON LIP OF NINAGONGO CRATER .... 76 

COMMANDANT HOLLANTS' AND AUTHOR'S CAMP . . 76 

SKULL OF THE GORILLA IN FRONTISPIECE ... 77 

VOLCANO OF MIKENO y^ 

FOREST OF SENECIOS AND BEARD-MOSS .... 79 

HOME OF A SOLITARY " OLD-MAN " GORILLA ... 82 

HEAD AND SHOULDERS OF A KIVU GORILLA , , , %^ 

MALE GORILLA SHOT BY AUTHOR 86 

SUBSIDIARY CRATER OF NINAGONGO 87 

KIVU GORILLA SHOT BY AUTHOR %y 

LAGOON CRATER ISLAND OF CHEGERA .... 90 

THE " PETROLETTE " BEING TOWED INTO KISENJI . . 91 

LAKE KIVU .94 

BAHUTU DANCE 94 

WHALE-HEADED STORK 95 

HIPPO' SHOT ON LAKE EDWARD 103 

HEAD OF A BUFFALO 103 

xiv 



List of Illustrations 



FACING 
PAGE 

KASALI MOUNTAINS io6 

THE FOSTER BROTHERS io6 

TWO LIONS SHOT BY AUTHOR 107 

LARViE OF A WARBLE FLY 114 

CLOUD OF KUNGU FLY 115 

MONSIEUR FOURGET EMBARKS 115 

BULL BUFFALO OF THE CAPE TYPE 118 

BULL BUFFALO 119 

SUSPICIOUS 119 

" BIG TENT " CAMP 122 

GIANT FERNS 123 

MALE WART-HOG . .126 

PEAKS OF RUWENZORI MOUNTAINS 127 

CENTRAL MASSIF OF RUWENZORI MOUNTAINS . . .134 
WATERSHED OF RUWENZORI MOUNTAINS . . .135 

CORNER OF THE ALPINE MOORS 138 

HEATHER FIRE 139 

OUR CAMP IN THE FOREST 148 

WAMBUTE PYGMIES 149 

AUTHOR, BEFORE LEAVING MBENI 156 

WAMBUTE PYGMY SUFFERING FROM LEPROSY . . .156 

PYGMY WOMEN AND CHILDREN 157 

FEMALE WAMBUTE PYGMIES 160 

SKINS OF GORILLA AND OKAPI 161 

WAMBUBA CANNIBALS COOKING MONKEY MEAT . . 176 
PYGMIES SHOOTING WITH BOW AND ARROW . . .176 

WAMBUBA CANNIBALS 177 

BALEGA WOMEN FROM NEAR IRUMU 182 

ELEPHANTS' TUSKS 182 

XV 



List of Illustrations 



FACING 
PAGE 

A MOBIRA WOMAN 183 

WABALI NATIVES AT BATAMA ...... 186 

ITURI RIVER AT PENGHE 187 

ATUBENGWELE, A WABALI CHIEF 196 

MUBALI NATIVES IN CEREMONIAL COSTUME . . .197 

WABALI WOMEN BEING WHIPPED 198 

THE MAITRES DE DANSE . . . . . . .199 

SPARTAN FEAT OF A MUBALI NATIVE .199 

WABALI DANCE IN PROGRESS 202 

WABALI DANCE— ANOTHER VIEW 203 

AFRICAN BUGS 204 

THE AARD-VARK 205 

BEAUTIFUL DRACRENA TREE 208 

CLOSE-SPOTTED HILL LEOPARD 209 

TWO ELEPHANTS PASSING BEFORE THE CAMERA . . 224 

TUSKLESS FEMALE ELEPHANT 225 

WEST NYASALAND ELEPHANT 228 

FINE OLD BULL ELEPHANT 229 

SKIN OF AN ELEPHANT 236 

ELEPHANT'S SKIN BEING TRANSPORTED .... 237 
ELEPHANT PASSING THROUGH BAMBOOS . . . .240 

ELEPHANT ON SEMLIKI RIVER 240 

HEAD AND TUSKS OF VERY LARGE ELEPHANT . . .241 
BELENOIS IN GRIP OF LARGE AFRICAN SUN-DEW . . 256 

BELENOIS FEEDING 257 

MAP 288 



XVI 




o 






- 03 

O . 

> CA 



TO MOTHER AFRICA 

AFTER TEN YEARS 

/ was pretty young and foolish when I came, 

The things I knew were fairly few and small — 
I was eaten up with shame, but you took me just the same. 
And you taught me, Mother Africa, to try and play the game 
As men play it out beyond the City Wall. 



There are millions who know nothing of your spell, 

And revile you for your cruelty and pain — 
*' Out in Africa," they say, 
" Men are lost and thrown away," 
WE know better. Mother Africa ! your children come to stay 

And they never scale the City Wall again ! 



In ten long years I've learned to love the chain 
[Though, sometimes, every fetter's bound to gall). 

Though you've tutored me in pain, 

If God grant me ten again, 

You shall have them, Mother Africa, so long as you remain 
Untrammelled, and outside the City Wall. 

Cullen Gouldsbury in " From the Outposts." 



XVll 



Introduction 

By sir harry JOHNSTON 

SOME time in the autumn, perhaps the late autumn, 
of 1920 I was frequenting the map rooms and hbrary 
of the Royal Geographical Society in London, in 
connection with an elaborate map that was being compiled 
to illustrate the extent of Africa covered by the twin families 
of the Bantu and the Semi-Bantu languages. On one such 
occasion, when leaving the building for the prosaic quest 
of lunch, I encountered the Society's president. '' Hullo ! 
How fortunate ! Just going to write or telegraph to you, 
when I found out where you were. We've got up at very short 
notice a meeting to hear a paper from an extraordinary man 
— Barns is his name — who's been exploring the regions you 
and Sharpe used to know — Lake Edward, Ruwenzori, Congo 
Forest, Northern Rhodesia, Tanganyika. I've just got hold 
of Sharpe, though he's very soon starting for Liberia, and here 
you are ! Wonderful, when most people are out of London ! 
. . . No. It's not in our programme. But I couldn't 
let such a chance slip. . . . Remarkable films of African 
scenery, with wild beasts wandering about quite indifferent 
to the operator or his native followers ; and really splendid 
sUdes of stationary subjects. You simply must come. . . . 
I shall ask you and Sharpe to propose and second the vote 
of thanks. You won't regret it." 

I did not : nor, I think, did any one in the large audience 
that heard Mr. Barns, that saw Mrs. Barns, and that beheld 
the truly wonderful pictures of their cinematograph or the 

xix 



Introduction 

many remarkable lantern slides from their instantaneous and 
timed photographs. 

We were given on this occasion the gist of the chapters 
in this book which treat of the region about Lake Kivu, 
and between Kivu and Ruwenzori, special stress being laid 
on the wonderful gorilla of those regions (a distinct species), 
on the active and silent volcanoes of the Umufumbiro or 
Virunga region (between Lakes Kivu and Edward), and the 
fringe of the mighty Congo Forest, along the Semliki River. 
But the author's journey for his special collecting purposes 
seems to have begun early in 1919 (after the Great War had 
been closed by an armistice), at the Katanga frontier of 
Northern Rhodesia, to have continued across and up Lake 
Tanganyika to Ujiji, and thence overland through the valley 
of the Malagarazi River and its north-western affluents, to 
the lofty tablelands of Burundi. From Burundi he and his 
plucky wife — as capable an African explorer and photographer 
as her husband — made their way to Lake Kivu, and thence 
through the great volcanoes of Virunga to Lake Edward, 
especially along the almost unknown western coast of Lake 
Edward (where the tameness of the elephants and other big 
game testified to an un visited hunter's paradise), whence 
they made their way to the Belgian post of Mbeni, on the 
middle course of the Semliki. 

From Mbeni the author effected his climb up the slopes 
of the Ruwenzori range to an altitude of nearly 13,000 feet. 
From Mbeni he and his wife explored the still mysterious 
Congo Forest, and made their way eventually across that 
forest belt to Stanleyville on the Upper Congo, from 
Stanleyville by steamer nine hundred miles down 
river to Stanley Pool, from Stanley Pool by railway to 

XX 



Introduction 

the Lower Congo, and thence to England by an ocean- 
going steamer. 

Not much of the country crossed was absolutely new to 
geography, to the white man's knowledge in the twentieth 
century. The only portions probably not hitherto traversed 
by the white man were tracks between Lakes Kivu and 
Edward, and portions of the route — or divagations from the 
route — between Avakubi (on the Ituri River) and the main 
Congo at Stanleyville. But the whole journey was made 
full of novelty by the actions of the author and his wife. 
They have probably discovered many new species and even 
genera of insects through their industry in collecting and 
preserving ; they have thrown considerable light on the sub- 
species or even distinct species of elephant inhabiting the 
eastern half of the Belgian Congo right up to the vicinity 
of Lake Albert ; they have obtained a fine specimen of the 

j largest known species of gorilla (originally discovered by 

! Mr. Oscar Beringer) to the north of Lake Kivu and perhaps 
within the watershed of Tanganyika ; possibly within that 
of the Nile. 

Mr. Beringer's magnificent specimen, which I believe is 
the one exhibited at the British Museum (Natural History), 
was obtained in the opening years of the twentieth century, 
not long after the writer of this introductory chapter had 

I returned to England from the Uganda Protectorate and 
from a visit to the adjoining region of the Belgian Congo. 

j Mr. Bams's gorilla, obtained from the same district and at an 
altitude of ten thousand feet, is perhaps a little lower in 
stature, but clearly belongs to this new species, the Eastern 
gorilla, Gorilla beringeri ; distinct from the gorilla of West 

! Central Africa (Luango, Gaboon, Cameroons and Ja River) 

xxi c 



Introduction 



I 



in detail of skull proportions, in not having quite such long 
canine teeth, in greater size of body and a greater growth 
and length of hair on the head. 

The first white man intelligently to appreciate the existence 
of the chimpanzi and gorilla in West-central Africa, and 
to distinguish between them, was the English sailor, Andrew 
Battel of Essex, who was stranded on the Angola coast about 
1592 and carried away into Luango across the lower Congo 
by an army of raiding negroes. He reported the existence 
of two kinds of man-like apes in that region : the " Engeco " 
(chimpanzi) and the *' Pongo " (gorilla), names which still 
persist in that locality. His writings were published about 
1613, but little heed was paid to these details for two hundred 
and fifty years. 

The existence and characters of the chimpanzi were 
realised in Europe towards the end of the eighteenth century, 
probably first by a naturalist in Wiirtemberg. But the 
name " chimpanzi '' we owe to the Portuguese, who derived 
it from the Bantu language of the northern Luango country 
where it is heard as chi-mpenze, chi-mpanzi to the present 
day. One of the several Hannos of Carthaginian history or 
legend apparently discovered the chimpanzi of the Sierra 
Leone coastlands some five hundred years before the Christian 
era, at the conclusion of an exploring voyage along the North- 
west Coast of Africa. But the skins brought back to Carthage 
were ascribed to '' wild men,'* and the episode was forgotten 
or passed over till the discovery of the gorilla in the mid- 
nineteenth century. Then it was erroneously assumed that 
his Hanno had pushed his exploring voyages as far east as 
the Cameroons, and his name for the chimpanzi {" gorilla " 
—very likely derived from Fula or Wolof words meaning 

xxii 



Introduction 

" wild man '') was bestowed on the larger ape, the " gorilla/' 
first discovered in the Gaboon by American missionaries 
about 1847. 

But although, through Professor Owen's examination of 
the skulls sent home by these missionaries, the existence of 
the gorilla was determined as a form distinct from the chim- 
panzi in the coastlands of West Central Africa, north of the 
Congo, the emphatic identity of this large ape was not pro- 
perly appreciated till after the journeys of Paul du Chaillu 
at the close of the 'fifties. Yet actually, before du Chaillu 
brought home definite accounts of the gorilla, a female 
gorilla was being (about 1855) exhibited through the English 
countryside in a travelling menagerie ; and outside the walls 
of an old farm-house in Berkshire was suspended a large 
gorilla skull, not realised as what it was till a few years ago, 
when it was figured in Country Life, The female gorilla of 
the circus died about the time of Paul du Chaillu's exciting 
book and lectures of the early 'sixties, and was identified by 
I the superintendent of the Zoological Society. 

The existence of a large species of chimpanzi in the Bahr-al- 

■ ghazal region and the adjoining forests of North-east Congo- 

I land had been discovered by Schweinfurth in the early 

. 'seventies. Stanley, myself, the Baptist Missionary pioneers 

— especially Grenfell — reported the existence of some form 

!l of chimpanzi on the Upper Congo (north bank) in the 'eighties. 

Livingstone in 1870 had noted the existence of the chim- 

j panzi (" Soko ") on the west side of Tanganyika in a form— 

j Anthropopithecus troglodytes marungensis — which may be only 

a sub-species or variety of Schweinfurth's chimpanzi. This 

I' chimpanzi of Marungu has been thought to extend its range 

almost as far south as the vicinity of Lake Mweru. In the 

xxiii 



fl 



Introduction 

'nineties, Grenfell photographed a very large chimpanzi 
derived from the north side of Stanley Pool. It must have 
been about five feet three inches in height. He also recorded 
subsequently in notes the existence of the chimpanzi in the 
regions north of the Upper Congo, but never to the south of 
that river. 

In 1890, Stanley, on his return from the Emin Pasha 
Relief Expedition, expressed his belief to the present writer 
that there was a form of gorilla in the dense forests of North- 
east Congoland ; so that when I went out to Uganda in 
1899, and crossed the Semliki into the Congo Forest in 1900, 
I made inquiries of the Belgian officials, who thought them 
most appropriate ; for they actually had in their possession 
photographs of a gorilla killed in the vicinity of Avakubi 
on the Ituri River. 

Early in the twentieth century (1902, 1903 ?) Mr. Oscar 
Beringer (an engineer, I believe, connected with the building 
of the German railway to Tanganyika) penetrated the Kivu 
region north of Tanganyika, and in the vicinity of the Virunga 
volcanoes obtained the magnificent specimen of the Eastern 
gorilla now named after him. 

In 1905, George Grenfell stated in one of his private letters 
that in the district of Bwela, north of the Upper Congo and 
near the River Motima, he came across a group of gorillas ,_ . 
seated in a tree, and that he killed one a little over four feet in 
height. (The incident is further described in my two volumes 
on " George Grenfell and the Congo.'') Grenfell knew quite 
enough about the anthropoid apes to distinguish between 
the gorilla and the chimpanzi ; and from other scattered 
notes in his papers I gather that he considered there was a 
gorilla district north of the Upper Congo from the Mongala ■ ^ 

XXIV 



I 



Introduction 

River on the west to the Lower Aruwimi on the east. Captain 
Guy Burrows, about 1900, photographed a gorilla said to have 
been killed near the Stanley Falls, to the east of the main 
Congo. 

The gorillas identified as the beringeri species, identical 
with the large specimen in the British Museum and with 
that illustrated so splendidly by Mr. Barns in this book, 
come from a mountain region ranging from eight to ten 
thousand feet in elevation. Are they specifically identical 
with the types killed at Avakubi on the Ituri River and east 
of the Stanley Falls, where the altitude above sea level cannot 
have been more than two thousand feet ? That is a question 
not yet determined, just as we are not able to say whether 
Grenfell's gorilla of the northernmost Congo is distinct as a 
species, or even as a sub-species, from the Western gorillas of 
the Sanga River, the Cameroons, Gaboon and Luango. 

The Eastern gorilla illustrated in this book and further 
represented by the very large specimen in the British Museum, 
appears to be slightly more ''human" in the lessened pro- 
portionate size of its canine teeth and one or two modifications 
of the skull, the arrangement of the head hair and prominence 
of the nose.* (The Neanderthal species of man who existed in 
central, western and southern Europe from five hundred 
thousand to one hundred thousand years ago (or even later) 
had a nose very like an exaggeration of the gorilla type : 
depressed as regards bridge, but very prominent and bulging 
over and around the nostrils.) 

The problem of the anthropoid apes in Africa at the 
present day may be stated thus : — 

* The features and appearance of the Western gorilla of the Gaboon are 
admirably illustrated in the September Bulletin of the New York Zoological 
Society, and should be compared with those of the Eastern gorilla in this book. 

XXV 



Introduction 

The gorilla is distributed (apparently with intervening 
gaps) between the elevated Virunga volcano region on the 
east (almost on the frontiers of Western Uganda), and the 
coast region of the Gaboon and the Cameroons on the west. 
In the Cameroons, gorillas are found certainly as far north 
as the middle Sanaga River, and in a southerly direction 
their range extends into the Luango coast country, north of 
the Lower Congo. 

The chimpanzis in several species or sub-species are found 
in the southern part of the Bahr-al-ghazal province of the 
Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, and thence southward (through Unyoro 
and Western Uganda) along the western side of Tanganyika 
to the district of Marungu and possibly the vicinity of Lake 
Mweru in S. lat. 8°. Certainly the gorilla and apparently 
the chimpanzi, are not found west or south of the main stream 
of the Congo ; the chimpanzi, however, is fairly abundant 
through the northern forested Congo basin to the Luango coast 
and the Cameroons. Chimpanzis are found in the eastern 
and perhaps the western parts of Southern Nigeria. They 
have never been reported from Dahome, and their existence 
in the Gold Coast is not established. But they are still 
found in the Ivory Coast forests, in Liberia, Sierra Leone, 
and much of Senegambia up to the Gambia River. They 
are larger and superficially more gorilla-like in the eastern 
half of their range than they are in West Africa. 

It would almost seem at one time as though their range in 
the Eastern Sudan brought them within the cognizance of 
the ancient Egyptians, for chimpanzis were certainly known 
to the Greeks in the Greek colonies of Mediterranean Egypt, 
whither they may have been brought as curiosities from the 
Sudan. In the Tanagra collection of the British Museum 

xxvi 



i 




Introduction 

may be seen several models of anthropoid apes, about five 
hundred to six hundred B.C. in approximate date, which can 
only have been derived from a study of the chimpanzi. One 
of these — an ape riding an ox — is such a remarkable repro- 
duction of the Schweinfurth chimpanzi that I cannot think 
it can have had any other model. I imagine that this ape 
must have been occasionally imported into Egypt from 
possibly a farther north habitat than it at present possesses. 
But in other directions we are left with a puzzle, for the 
nearest fossil relations of the apes of Equatorial Africa are 
only — so far — to be found in North-west India, in the foot- 
hills of the Himalayas. Here, of Pliocene date, have been 
found a few remains evidencing the existence in Northern 
India of anthropoid apes allied to both chimpanzi and orang- 
utan. From the little we know of it, the PalcBopithecus of 
North-west India found in lower Pliocene formations is 
rather nearer the human ancestor than any of the anthropoid 
remains of Europe. 

These last have been found in Miocene and Pliocene forma- 
tions in south-central France, southern Germany, Austria 
and Italy. Professor Fraas, early in the twentieth century, 
discovered skulls of a gibbon-like anthropoid ape of the 

! Ohgocene period in Upper Egypt. Nothing living or fossil 
so near to the human sub-family as the chimpanzi and gorilla 
has, so far, been found outside Equatorial Africa, save these 

j few remains of a chimpanzi-like ape in North-west India. 
Yet nothing human, living or fossil, has as yet been found in 
Africa which cannot be included in two species of true 
Man, Homo sapiens and Homo rhodesiensis , the Neanderthaloid 
type recently found in northern Rhodesia. The more transi- 
tional types between apes and men that have hitherto been 

xxvii 



Introduction 

brought to light have been found in Java; in the Sussex 
county of southern England; in France, Spain, southern 
Germany, and Austria. From a variety of other suggestions 
we may consider the most likely birthplace of man to have 
been not any part of Africa and certainly no part of America ; 
but some region of western Asia not far from the mythical 
'' Garden of Eden,'' midway in distance from the Java 
to which Pithecanthropos strayed, and Sussex, whither 
Eoanthropos penetrated before the Ice Ages developed both 
the hideous man of Neanderthal and the modern species of 
Homo sapiens. 

Arabia, which should serve as a connecting link in the 
story of the mammalian and human peopling of Africa, has 
been many times blighted and scarred by the stupidly con- 
ducted forces clumsily controlling this little planet. Seem- 
ingly this peninsula is the remains of a vast region formerly 
extending farther into the Indian Ocean, which connected East 
Africa with Persia, India, and Malaysia ; and southern India 
in the first half^of the Tertiary epoch was more or less con- 
nected with Madagascar. But first, at the close of the Terti- 
aries, a terrific outburst of volcanic energy covered a great 
deal of the Arabian area with an impenetrable, all concealing 
lava flow (hiding from our knowledge the fossils in its rocks). 
And next came the abstraction of its rainfall and the creation 
of its shifting and concealing sands. And lastly arose the 
Islamic '' faith," a cruel parody of Judaism and Christianity, 
the worst form of knowledge-destroying religion that man 
has yet invented. Islamic fanaticism has abstracted Southern 
Arabia from the examination of educated eyes. 

Nevertheless, though Arabia, through climatic and human 
recalcitrancy has been reduced to a negation, we must assume 

xxviii 



I 
i 



Introduction 

from the little we know about it that as late as forty or fifty 
thousand years ago it was still a well-watered region, serving 
as a route between Syria, India, Persia and Africa, across 
which travelled the giraffes, the anthropoid apes, the buffaloes, 
many of the antelopes, the zebras and asses, and the early 
types of Homo sapiens. Another path for the peopling of 
Africa in the Pliocene and Pleistocene was the land connection 
across the Mediterranean, the Italian land-route, which down 
to some twenty to thirty thousand years ago cut the Mediter- 
ranean in two and linked up Malta, Tripoli and Tunis with 
Sicily and Italy. 

At no very remote period and well within the human era, 
the mammals of Algeria, Morocco and Tunis resembled very 
strongly those of Eastern and South Africa at the present 
day. Much of the Sahara was then a shallow sea, but there 
was the broad belt of land, the Tasili-Tibesti plateaux and 
mountains, which connected Algeria and Tunis with the Central 
Sudan. Across this diagonal mountainous area travelled 
to east and south the white rhinoceros, the African elephant, 
several of the antelopes, the buffalo with enormous horns 
fourteen feet long [Buhalis antiquus), the eland and the 
hyena. An even more important route in the advance of 
the modern mammalian fauna over East and South Africa 
was the valley of the Nile and the mountainous region east 
of it, once directly connected with Arabia across the Red 
Sea Rift valley. From Egypt and Abyssinia came contingents 
of big and remarkable beasts, and probably the Negro and 
Negroid types of man to journey southward to another great 
scene of expansion : Trans-Zambezian Africa and Southern 
Angola. 

South Africa, where, for the past hundred years, and more 

xxix 



Introduction 

furiously than ever since the Great War, the British, German, 
and the Boer settlers have been exterminating with reckless 
blood-lust a most magnificent mammalian fauna ; South 
Africa, outside the forests of the Central region, offered a 
singular resemblance in its extravagant mammalian forms to 
the beasts of prehistoric Algeria, and of Abyssinia, Somaliland, 
and equatorial East Africa. Vestiges of this wealth were 
encountered by the author of this book and have been seen 
by many of those who from the days of Speke and Grant 
onwards have penetrated East Africa up to the borders of 
the Congo forests. 

Not a few of the beasts and birds, living and extinct, 
which have been found in North Africa, Abyssinia, the 
eastern Sudan, Somaliland, and equatorial East Africa down 
to the sixth degree of S. latitude, are not only absent entirely 
from the central basin of the Congo but do not reappear till the 
Zambezi has been crossed and the South African sphere has 
been entered. A somewhat similar gap in distribution may 
be noted in the Americas where there may be great resem- 
blances between the existing mammalian fauna of South 
America and that of pre-Glacial North America, with very 
little (to-day) in the way of Uving or fossil forms in Central 
America to connect them, the fauna not having cared to linger 
long in the attenuated connecting parts. 

But in Central Africa there has been no lack of space for the 
maintenance of the southward-tending beasts and birds : 
we can only assume that the rather narrow connecting belt 
between north and south in East Africa has been caused by 
the existence of a vast recent lake over the inner Congo basin. 
Similarly, to account for the present distribution of beasts, 
birds, reptiles and fresh-water fish between North Africa 

XXX 



il 



Introduction 

and the Sudan and northern equatorial zone, we are obhged 
to assume that in prehistoric, but not very distant times, 
much of the Sahara and Libyan deserts were covered by a 
wide expanse of shallow sea, or by fresh-water lakes many 
times larger in area than the Victoria Nyanza and Lake Chad. 
There is some local evidence to support this assumption. 

Along the Eastern route, from Syria and Arabia, through 
Egypt and Abyssinia we may surmise justifiably that the 
anthropoid apes came to east equatorial Africa, and thence 
crossed the continent in the forms of the chimpanzi, to extend 
their range through its vast western forests. The gorilla, 
perhaps arriving later, only penetrated westward to the 
proximity of the Niger delta. 

The okapi likewise passed from Egypt (its nearest relations 
are found fossil in Greece and Asia Minor) to the north- 
eastern Congo forests, but has not — as has the Hylochoems 
genus of swine — been found west of the Mubangi affluent of 
the Congo. 

The fossil remains of an equine like the zebra have been 
found in Algeria, but no wild ass or zebra has been located in 
the Sahara or Libyan deserts ; or anywhere west of the main 
Nile, as far south as the Semliki River and the north end of 
Tanganyika. The range of the zebra, in two or more species, 
skirts the south end of Tanganyika and in general the southern 
limits of the Congo basin, and penetrates into Angola, south 
of the Kwanza River. The range of the rhinoceroses in the 
southern half of Africa is very much that of the zebras except, 
of course, that within the last hundred years the white 
rhinoceros has been virtually exterminated in Trans-Zambezian 
Africa by the British-Boer white man. But north of the 
equator both forms of the rhinoceros may be found west 

XXX i 



Introduction 

of the main Nile ; and the black rhinoceros extends its range 
— seemingly — into Eastern Nigeria (though not to the west 
of the Niger) ; and according to the Roman records, was once 
very abundant south of the Sahara, round Lake Chad. 

The vast forests of Central Congoland, south and west 
of the main stream, are to-day very different from the Northern 
Congo basin, the Cameroons, and the Tanganyika region in | 
their mammalian fauna, different in what they lack rather 
than in what they possess. They are apparently without i 
anthropoid apes, giraffe or okapi, water chevrotain, and most j 
of the antelopes, the Hylochosrus pig, rhinoceros, zebra or j 
the Manis edentates (except the wide-spread M^wfs temmincki), \ 
and seemingly lack the aardvark. t 

The reason for this poverty in mammalian fauna seems 
to have been that within Pliocene and Pleistocene times, 
when the rest of Africa was being peopled with the mammals 
and birds of Europe and Asia, the Central Congo basin was 
a vast fresh- water lake of which Lakes Leopold II and Man- 
tumba are tiny residuary fragments. This question has been 
treated at some length in my work on GrenfelFs explorations, 
so it is not necessary to descant further on it here. 

Similarly, and also within the human period, much of 
the Sahara and Libyan deserts was under water ; so that the 
routes by which tropical Africa received its modern mammals 
and its early types of man from the Mediterranean lands 
and from Western Asia were virtually restricted to the elevated 
strip of the Tasili-Tibesti highlands from Algeria to Darfur, 
and the mountainous country east of the Nile, from Egypt 
to Abyssinia and East Africa. Much of the Bahr-al-ghazal 
basin between Wadai and the vicinity of the Mountain Nile 
was a vast shallow lake. 

xxxii 



Introduction 

Both these routes converged to what is, perhaps, the most 
interesting region of all Africa at the present day : the country 
known as the Albertine Rift Valley, through which in the 
north flows the Semliki River to join Lake Albert, while 
bevond Lake Edward the now elevated Lake Kivu sends 
its waters southward into Tanganyika to join the Congo 
system. Clearly, at no very distant interval of time, volcanic 
disturbances (now made evident in the active and passive 
volcanoes of Virunga) had not raised Kivu two thousand 
feet above the level of Tanganyika ; and Livingstone's 
theory might then have been true, that Tanganyika was the 
farthest source of the Nile, with its waters flowing northwards to 
the Albert Nyanza over the bed of the Semliki. But with the 
bending upwards of this Rift valley, Tanganyika became long 
isolated (its tribute to the Congo is even now intermittent 
and Uable to interruption). When first discovered by Burton 
and Livingstone, Tanganyika may have been in one of its 
phases of isolation with its stagnant, rising water turning to 
saHnity. Its aquatic fauna is very peculiar, suggesting long 
separation from the Nile basin, yet no great degree of con- 
nection with Congo waters. Tanganyika is a Rift Valley 
lake, probably of considerable age and quite different to the 
broad and — in comparison — very shallow Victoria Nyanza. 
Tanganyika has depths of four thousand seven hundred feet ; 
the Victoria has no greater depth than about two hundred 
and forty feet. Tanganyika lies on the eastern frontier of 
forested Africa, of the region which extends with some inter- 
ruptions and lessening of its rich and peculiar fauna west- 
wards across equatorial Africa to the mouth of the Gambia 
ill West Africa. Faunistically speaking, the west and north 
coasts of Tanganyika are in West Africa, the south and east 

xxxiii 



Introduction 

coasts in East Africa. Lakes Kivu and Edward are similarly 
on the border line. Lake Albert is virtually East African. 

But east of the Albert, and north and east of the Victoria 
Nyanza there still persist areas and patches of " West African ** 
forest, with the grey parrot, the large corytheola plantain- 
eater, and many other West African bird types, the Bongo 
tragelaph, the Potto lemur, and numerous West African 
species of bats, rodents, hyraxes and Manis edentates. These ^ 
patches of forest wich their "West African'' beasts, birds, 
reptiles, spiders, and insects really remain as relics of aj 
forest belt that in the Tertiary epoch passed continuousl; 
across lands now arid or sunk in the sea between equatorial 
Africa and India. In the Pleistocene a lessening in rainfall 
or a lowering in temperature created the distinction between 
prairieland and forest belt ; and the great fauna of Europe 
and the Mediterranean basin passed through eastern equatorial 
Africa where the forest was weakest, down to the prairie 
lands and grassy plateaux of the South. 

The Albertine Rift Valley, so much the special sphere of 
Mr. Barns's research, is just one of those districts where the 
change of fauna and flora is most abruptly contrasted : for 
he has stood where I have stood, facing north ; and almost 
descrying from the same standpoint on the left hand the 
abrupt ending of the dense forest with skulls of the small 
red forest buffalo in the herbage ; and on the right, grassy 
plains with only an occasional borassus palm or low-growing 
acacia tree, teeming with East African antelopes, big-horned 
Cape buffalos, zebras and rhinoceroses. 

He has likewise seen and known the Hamitic aristocracy 
of these open grass countries, abruptly verging on the forest. 

xxxiv 



Introduction 

In the abundant populations — spared for a time, at any rate, 
from the ghastly infection of sleeping sickness, because much 
of their country rises above the levels affected by the tsetse 
fly — may be seen the Negro peasantry and cultivators and 
the aristocracy of tall, handsome Bahima or Batusi. This 
superior caste is mainly of Negro race (when truth is told), 
but is obviously descended from something that was not 
Negro, once — ancient Egyptian, Gala, Somal, '' Fuzzie-wuzzie,'' 
from the north and north-east. These Hamites, who are 
further remarkable for speaking the purest and most highly 
developed Bantu languages, seem more especially to have 
carried out an invasion of the Albertine Rift Valley between 
western Uganda and the edge of the Congo Forest about 
two thousand years ago ; and to have pushed their invasion 
southward to the north end of Tanganyika, and in an attenu- 
ated form both west and east of Tanganyika ; till, growing 
ever more " negro '' in physique (yet often retaining a fine 
cast of countenance) they founded states north of Nyasa and 
west of Tanganyika. They even pushed the influence of 
their blood, intelligence, and mental vigour into the southern 
part of the Congo basin — the land of Lunda — may even have 
pushed on south till they brought some racial influence of 
the Hamite in face-features and intelligence to the southern 
Bantu, and so survived here and there among the Herero, 
the Karaiia and the Zulu. 

But in Western Uganda, in Toro, Ankole, Ruanda, Karagw^e 
and Burundi, they still remain as a distinct and sovereign 
caste. The hair is tightly crinkled but (when allowed to grow) 
is long and abundant, and the facial features are not those of 
the negro but of the handsome Gala, Somali, and Ancient 
Egyptian. H. H. Johnston. 

XXXV 



THE WONDERLAND OF THE 
EASTERN CONGO 

CHAPTER I 

FROM THE KATANGA COPPER BELT TO LAKE TANGANYIKA 

" Cape to Cairo I Steamer to steamer I 
Rail and wire from South to North. . . . 
Me7t guffawed at the Master Schemer, 
Fools waxed loud in their foolish wrath . . . 
But the project held, and the words went forth, 
Sister-nations hurried to aid. 
Stung by the dream of a dumb, dead Dreamer, 
Men toiled on till the rails were laid." 

Rhodes's Dream. Verse IV. 



I 



T may be truly said that a second Rand is developing 
itself in the Katanga. This highly mineralised area, 
l'"^ where are to be found green mountains of copper, 
fields of tin, gold and diamonds, will, I venture to predict, 
Dne day become second to none in the whole of Africa. Like 
:he Ituri gold district, of the north-east Congo, its poten- 
ialities are unlimited. 

The Katanga Copper Mines, which are at present exploited 
by a company styled U Union Minilre du Haut Katanga, 
lire very rich and numerous, too numerous it is said for 
ffhis one company to work ; it being now considered necessary 
p grant concessions to a new financial group to exploit 
hose mines to the west of the Lualaba Valley. 

New ways of communication have now been devised to 
each this rich district, principal amongst which is the Lobito 

I B 



The Eastern Congo 

Bay Railway, which is again being pushed forward with 
new energy and capital. In all likelihood the junction with 
the Cape to Cairo Railway will occur at a small place called 
Fungarumi, high up on the Lufira-Lualaba Watershed. 
Stands, at this place, are already reaching a high figure in 
consequence. Apart from the Cape Railway, the Katanga 
can now be reached mechanically by rail and steamer from 
Boma up the Congo and Lualaba Rivers to Bukama, also 
by rail and steamer via Dar-es-Salaam and Kigoma, across 
Lake Tanganyika to Albertville and thence to Kabalo and 
up the Lualaba River. 

The natives working on the mines are recruited from all 
over South Central Africa : principally of late from Portuguese 
Angola ; these natives make first-class workmen after a 
month's training with pick and shovel. 

The mine " boys " are thoroughly well looked after, 
especially as regards food — there being a daily ration on a 
liberal scale fixed by Government, which includes a good 
portion of fresh meat and vegetables and nuts or beans and j 
palm-oil. This fixed rationing of natives besides being an 
inducement to good work — it being proverbial that a hungry ^ 
negro is good for nothing at all — gives a great impetus to 
trade, and as more than 60,000 natives are employed annually ^ 
by the various companies in the neighbourhood, some idea | 
can be gained of the amount of produce required to feed 
them and the extent of the market. 

Elisabethville, the capital of the Katanga Concession, i; 
a remarkably well laid out town of over 1,600 inhabitants 
only ten days by train from Cape Town. Since the adven 
of the railway this place has made rapid progress and no^ 
contains many fine buildings, and good hotels with ever 

2 



I 



i 



! 

4 




The Katanga 

modern luxury. The Vice-Governor's palace is a really 
beautiful building, reminding one of some villa on the 
Riviera. 

The town stands on the headwaters of the Lufubu River, 
an affluent of the Luapula. Good big game shooting is 
to be had in the vicinity and good motor roads run out in 
all directions. Lake Mweru can be reached by motor cai 
or by cycle in one day and the lake is likely to become an 
attraction to visitors in the near future. 

Likasi, on the northern slope of the Lufira Valley, one 
of the copper mines to be opened up within the last three 
years, has now become a net-work of railways and sidings 
— a branch from the main line to the new township having 
been completed in the latter part of 1918. A large con- 
centrating plant was in course of erection when I left and 
a mountain of copper and another of limestone flux were 
being blasted away. Smelters will come later, then the 
copper ore from the mines to the north will be treated at 
this new centre instead of at Elisabethville, as at 
Ipresent. 

I The climate of the Katanga highlands, which have a 

piean elevation of about 3,800 feet above sea level, is perhaps 

I unsurpassable. The country is splendidly wooded and well 

ivatered, and the absence of agricultural enterprise is there- 

bre striking. There are not a dozen farms in the neigh- 

)ourhood of any importance and yet there is an unlimited 

narket for every description of produce. Certainly the 

oil is heavy clay for the most part but very rich when 

roperly " worked.'' The Government will be well advised 

they encourage agriculture and stock raising in all its 

>ranches and so keep in the country the very large sums 

3 



The Eastern Congo 

that go out annually for meat and produce, the food supply 
of the whole of the Katanga being obtained, with few ex- 
ceptions, from Rhodesia and South Africa. The Lufira 
and Lufubu Valleys are admirably suited for agriculture 
and the Manika Plateau is a splendid cattle country free 
of " fly,'' with a rich pasture, well- watered and in every 
way suitable for stock. Moreover, the tsetse fly, where 
found, does not run in large belts and is on the decrease. 

The fact is the country has not yet been sufiiciently 
advertised. The independent Europeans now to be found 
there — Greek and Italian traders and Jews of many nation- 
alities — are the wrong class for agricultural enterprise. These 
bloodsuckers are engaged in all manner of mining contracts 
and shady commerce, whereby they fleece both white and 
black. The best class of settler should be advertised foi 
and given every encouragement by the Government. 

The ComiU Special du Katanga grant farms on cheap an( 
easy terms, but so far these have only been taken up by| 
contractors and others as a side-line or place for a counti 
residence. There is a quick fortune to be made near thes 
mines by the hard-working man with a modest capital, eith( 
in trading or mixed farming, and both the Union Miniere and 
the ComiU Special will welcome any such and give all the 
assistance in their power. When I left the district in May, 
1919, and before the franc went down in value, the following 
prices ruled in Elisabethville : beef 3f. 50c. per kilo ; mutton 
5f. 00c. per kilo ; pork 5f. 00c. per kilo ; onions 2f . 50c. per 
kilo ; potatoes from if. 00c. to 2f. 00c. per kilo ; tomatoes 
if. 50c. per kilo ; cabbages if. 00c. each ; lemons 50c. 
each ; pumpkins and vegetable marrows if. 00c. to if. 50c. 
each ; lettuces four for if. 00c. ; milk if. 50c. per pint 

4 

t 




i 



li 



C Raphia Palms on the river bank in South Congoland. 



h 



The Katanga 



bottle ; eggs gi. ooc. per dozen ; butter 3f. 50c. to 4!. 00c. 
per lb. 

The foregoing gives an outline of the conditions prevailing 
in the Congo Copper Belt which we were to leave behind us 
on our long northward journey. 

The trip from Elisabethville along the lately completed 
line to Bukama on the Lualaba River will take the traveller 
some forty hours, including the wait of an hour or more at 
Kambove. After leaving the latter place there is a gradual 
rise to the more open country around Chilongo, on the 
southern end of the Manika Plateau, where the climate is 
cold and invigorating, standing as it does on the watershed 
between the Lufira and Lualaba Valleys at an elevation of 
nearly 5,000 feet above sea-level. From here the descent 
into the Lualaba Valley begins, at first passing through 
immense open plains and then again into the thick forest as 
before. On reaching the Kalule and Kalengwe Rivers close 
to the Lualaba the scenery is enthralling, and so helps one 
to forget the danger, or what feels like danger, attendant 
upon the crossing of the shaky trestle wooden bridges that 
span some of the gorges and cataracts. These timber bridges 
are of so bad a design that some of the engine-drivers refuse 
to take the big American engines across them. However, 
they are to be replaced by iron structures as soon as the 
material is available. 

The mail train arrives at Bukama in the night. This 
place is of an uninteresting nature, hot and feverish to a 
marked degree, with no accommodation for travellers and 
no fresh food obtainable. This is unfortunate, as one usually 
has to wait here several days for a river steamer. The 
Lualaba River at Bukama being found to be too shallow 

5 



The Eastern Congo 

for the 150-ton paddle steamers that ply between here and 
Kongolo, the Katanga Railway authorities are contemplating 
extending the line to Kiabo, on the eastern side of Lake 
Kissale. Why this was not done in the first place remains a 
mystery, to be accounted for, no doubt, by the very cursory 
construction and surveying methods which show themselves 
elsewhere along this line. 

The rainy season having been an unusually poor one and 
the river very low in consequence, we were lucky to catch, 
in the first week in June, the last steamer to reach Bukama 
for that season. As we had been " eating our heads off '* 
at this beastly place for four days, without fresh food of 
any kind, we hailed with the greatest delight the little stern- 
wheeler the Baron Janssen, and as she was to sail the following 
day we were soon aboard. The food supplied proved to be 
excellent, but the lower deck, where our cabin was situated, 
like so many of the Belgian river steamers, left a good deal 
to be desired in the way of cleanliness. It was littered with 
the ordure of negro men, women, and children, being crowded 
with these noisy people themselves, together with their 
accompanying livestock. The African traveller, however, 
soon becomes inured to sights, sounds, and smells that are 
only dreamt of in nightmares by ordinary mortals, so we 
gave the lower deck a wide berth after stowing away our 
baggage, and were soon taking the fresh air above and 
interesting ourselves in the passing scenery. 

Shortly after leaving Bukama the Lualaba flows into a 
chain of small lakes named respectively Kabele, Upemba, 
Kissale, Lusambo, and Kalamba, the biggest of which is 
Kissale. When about to enter the first of these lakes we 
passed another steamer stuck fast on a sand bank in mid- 

6 



The Katanga 

stream ; it had been there for six days. This mishap, I was 
told, was due as much to the proverbial intemperance of 
the river captain as to the nature of the river itself. 

Like all African river steamers, the Baron Janssen uses 
wood for her boilers, so it was not until the operation of 
*' wooding " was accomplished by piling up every available 
space on the steamer with logs from a wood station on 
the banks that we got fairly under way, nightfall finding us 
nearing Lake Kisale, close to which the captain tied up for 
the night. 

Until one comes out into the open waters of this lake 
the view is dull and uninteresting, bounded as it is by papyrus 
swamps, but here many interesting birds and water-plants 
are to be seen. Then again on leaving the lake the papyrus 
swamp is replaced by lacustrine plains which form low but 
solid banks to the river, where herds of elephant, buffalo, 
and other game are seen. Farther downstream as we approach 
Ankora the banks are forested with splendid palms of several 
kinds, principally of the oil (Elais), borassus, and ivory- 
nut species. As these are mirrored in the dark and 
winding river the whole makes a panorama of exceeding 
beauty. 

Some seven years ago this region was the centre of a 
thriving palm-oil industry and was thickly populated by the 
Baluba natives engaged in cultivating the Elais palm and 
extracting the thick oil to be obtained from the fruit, but 
with the advent of what may be termed the sleeping sickness 
epidemic which ravaged Central Africa in the last decade, 
these natives were exterminated, the district being now 
practically deserted and given over to immense herds of 
elephant and buffalo, who roam there unchallenged. 

7 



The Eastern Congo 



The fourth and last day of our voyage, which brought 
us into Kabalo, took us past Ankora, the administrative 
centre of the district on the mouth of the Luvua River which 
flows out of the north end of Lake Mweru. The small 
town of Kabalo being built amidst marshy surroundings 
is uninviting and mosquito ridden ; it forms the terminus 
of the short section of railway completed during the war, 
connecting the Upper Congo River (or Lualaba) with Albert- 
ville on Lake Tanganyika. The bi-weekly mail train leaves 
Kabalo at 6 a.m. and reaching Albertville at sundown, 
takes twelve hours to do the hundred and sixty-five miles. 
Half way along its length, this line follows the Lukuga 
River very closely, and much beautiful and wild river 
scenery is passed. There appeared to be no change in the 
surrounding bush, all the trees and shrubs in the open 
forest were old friends, familiar to me farther south in 
Northern Rhodesia and the Chambezi Valley. 

Our little train puffed into Albertville at sundown to- 
wards the end of June, 1919. Fortunately for us, as at 
Kabalo, there is a limited accommodation for travellers 
which consists of wooden huts, near the railway, belonging 
to the Compagnie des Grands Lacs, for the use of which 
five francs per day is charged. 

Albertville, which is partly built on a narrow strip of 
foreshore and partly above on the high sandstone cliffs, 
lies almost on the sixth degree south of the equator, and 
close up to the only outlet of the Tanganyika waters, where 
the Lukuga River has its source. The volume of water 
which flows through this gap in the western wall of the 
lake, changes according to the seasons, but of recent years 
there has been no large overflow, its tendency being to 

8 



The Katanga 



diminish rather than to increase. There are at present 
several shallow channels wandering through the expanse 
of sand and reeds which front the mouth of this river, but 
a great many years ago, judging by the water- worn cuttings 
in the soft sandstone, it was very much otherwise, for then 
the overflow must have been of imposing dimensions and 
considerable depth. 

Although Albertville has now only eight white inhabitants, 
it was during the German East Campaign that it assumed 
some importance as a base of operations for the Tanganyika 
Naval Expedition. It was from here that the little motor 
gunboats set out to smash up the Hermann von Wissmann and 
so clear the way for the advance across the lake and up the 
Tabora Railway from Kigoma. For this purpose engines 
and rolling stock were taken across from Albertville. Here 
also the Naval Expedition launched the King George, 
originally the Congo Governor's yacht. This boat was taken 
to pieces at Kabalo, railed to Albertville, put together 
again there and floated in the record time of seven 
days. 

As is well known this expedition was in charge of Com- 
mander Spicer-Simpson, who was especially reverenced by the 
local tribesmen on account of his wearing kilts. These savages 
never having seen a white man in this garb before, put 
him down as something exceptional in the way of a " White 
God,*' giving him the name of Chifungatumbo, which means 
literally, the *' man who wears a stomach cloth." The 
Commander was known by this name up and down the 
length of Tanganyika — such is fame in Africa ! 

A few hours' steaming to the north of Albertville, lies 
Lake Toa, where the Belgian Military Aerodrome was 

9 



The Eastern Congo 

situated and from which place the first hydroplane on Lake 
Tanganyika set forth to bomb the Germans at Kigoma. 
There were many set backs before the hydroplane could 
be put into flying trim, with the result that Kigoma was 
found to be evacuated when the first flight over the harbour 
was made. 



10 



CHAPTER II 

LAKE TANGANYIKA ; KIGOMA AND UJIJI AND OUR START FOR 

THE NORTH 

" Partly for the sake of gold 
At the Rainbow's End, 
Glamour of old tales told 

At the gloom of day. 
Partly, too, for the peace 

Wide spaces lend. 
Sought we the soft release 
Of the Far Away." 

The Pioneers. Verse I. 

LYING between the third and ninth parallels of 
latitude south of the equator, Lake Tanganyika 
is the longest lake in Africa, being four hundred miles 
in length, and an average of thirty miles in breadth. It 
stands, surrounded by great mountain ranges which form 
a vast abyss, at 2,756 feet above sea level. Its greatest 
depth has never yet been fathomed but it is most certainly 
well over four thousand seven hundred feet. The *' dogs of 
war '* seem to have taken away some of its mystery and 
charm, but not one whit of its interest for the naturalist. 
The votaries of destruction intent on their foul work have 
no time to spare for nature-study, excepting in so far as 
it concerns their stomachs. Thus it is that Tanganyika 
still offers a rich harvest for the collector and many of its 
problems still await solution. Although it lies in the centre 
of the great African rift-valley and is surrounded on three 
sides by other large and small lakes, it remains isolated 
and unconnected with all save Lake Kivu, and this connec- 
tion has occurred only in comparatively recent times. Owing 

II 



The Eastern Congo 

to the fish-fauna of this lake presenting similarities to marine 
forms, the idea was current that Tanganyika represented 
an old Jurassic sea. This theory was expounded by Mr. 
J. E. S. Moore (known to many old Africans as Jelly-fish 
Moore, on account of his connection with the collecting of 
the Tanganyika jelly-fish) — in his books " The Tanganyika 
Problem '' and *' To the Mountains of the Moon '' ; it has, 
however, since been found to be wrong. The large number 
of endemic genera of fish-fauna to be found in this lake 
compared to other lakes, is due to its undisturbed and 
isolated position, and in no way to its supposed connec- 
tion with the sea. 

One of the wonders of this lake and probably the least 
known or heard about, owing to its inaccessible position 
at the south end, is the Kalambo Falls. The Kalambo 
River, which before the Great War formed part of the 
boundary between Northern Rhodesia and German East 
Africa, is a broad and swift mountain torrent for the most 
part, which hurls itself practically from one of the lower 
ledges of the Nyassa-Tanganyika plateau, in one drop over 
a vast cliff, into the great gulf of Tanganyika. The fall is 
said to be the second highest in the world and is calculated 
to be seventeen hundred feet high. Owing to a sharp curve 
in the cliff face, little can be seen of the stupendous fall from 
above. To obtain a good view it is necessary to make a 
detour round the cliff, climb down some distance, and then 
to approach the fall from below. This I accomplished, and 
moreover reached the foot of the fall, where I obtained some 
very fine photographs and exposed a hundred feet of cine- 
matograph film. 

The foot of the falls is a paradise for the naturaUst and 

12 




CI. The Kalambo Falls at the south end of 
Lake Tanganyika, said to be 1,700 feet high 
and the second highest waterfall in the world. 




^^Sfe. 



SPI^.v.v"i^»i" 



Lake Tanganyika 

botanist. High above on the red cliff-face are the nesting- 
places of marabou storks and many other birds, the lower 
buttresses being painted a vivid green by the many species 
of curious mosses and plants. Amongst these, growing in 
great profusion, was an elegant species of tania, the foliage of 
which was in perpetual agitation, caused by air pressure 
produced by the falling mass of water. When the sun is out 
a beautiful rainbow forms on the rising mist, enhancing the 
loveliness of this delectable spot. Like some few other places 
that I know, it was difficult for me to tear myself away, 
such was its fascination. 

It is said that there is what the missionaries hereabouts 
call a high priest of the falls, who is credited with having 
to visit the foot of the falls once a year and drink its waters ; 
but I guessed that the " priest ** would turn out to be a 
smelly old native in bark-cloth, so I refrained from seeking 
him. In a place of such entrancing beauty and visited by 
comparatively few white men, one would like to think that 
the '* madding crowd," with their continual striving after 
place and power, could be quite forgotten for a time at least. 
But no ; for as one turns round from the very brink of the 
falls, one's attention is attracted by the ruins of a German 
military outpost. A rude shock indeed ; and one moves 
away in disgust ! 

Violent tornadoes are of frequent occurrence on Lake 
Tanganyika, but more so in the daytime than at night ; 
thus it was that we found ourselves, with our baggage stowed 
away, on the good Belgian ship the ss. Baron Dhanis, 
standing out for the open lake one hour after sundown, and 
Albertville a smudge in the gathering gloom. Our course 
lay N.N.E. for Kigoma Bay, a distance of eighty miles. 

13 



The Eastern Congo 

The lake being in restful mood, we passed a comfortable 
night, waking next morning to find Cape Bangwe right ahead 
and the sun just rising above it. In a little inlet before 
reaching the bay proper lies the Baron von Gotzen, sunk there 
by the Germans ; she is a steamer of about one thousand 
tons and had just been completed when war broke out. 
When we passed by, her gunwales were just showing above 
water, as a result of the efforts of Belgian engineers. Whether 
they salved her eventually I never heard. 

Kigoma Bay is the finest harbour on the lake. Just 
before war broke out the Germans had been busy improving 
it with stone wharves, slip-ways and other facilities for the 
handling of cargoes and repairing of ships. A huge hotel 
built more on the lines of a fortress, as was the Germans' 
wont, was also in course of construction. This massive 
building at the time of our visit had been completed, together 
with other works in the harbour, by the Belgians, and was 
in use as a hospital. All buildings and works in the harbour 
are of such a substantial and costly nature that one cannot 
help wondering what were they all for ; where were the big 
freights to come from, and where destined, and what were 
they to consist of ? 

Three miles away from Kigoma and connected with it 
by a good motor road made by the Belgians, lies the old 
Arab town of Ujiji, famous as the meeting-place of Living- 
stone and Stanley in 1871. One is rather astonished to 
remember that this is only forty-nine years ago, and what 
rapid strides have been made in the opening up of the 
African interior since then ! It is easy as one stands here 
to conjure up the meeting of the two travel- worn men, both 
rather dilapidated, with clothes very much the worse for 

14 



Lake Tanganyika 

wear, and probably unshaven, but in the eyes of each, in 
their own particular way, lurking the indomitable spirit of 
the Anglo-Saxon. 

The old mango tree, growing at the place where they 
met, is known to the natives as the " White Man's Tree " ; 
underneath it the Belgians have caused to be made a solid 
block of masonry and cement with the words " Livingstone 
Stanley. 1871 '* engraven on it. This spot is now some 
hundreds of yards away from the water's edge, but in 1871 
it might be described as '* on the bank close to the shore,'' 
thus telling of the sinking or drying-up process of Lake 
Tanganyika. Moreover, this drying-up process is inevitably 
going on all over Africa, more noticeable in some places than 
in others, but not slowly anywhere, due in no small measure 
to the continual deforestation that takes place year after 
year throughout the continent. 

With a population of twenty-four thousand, Swahilis and 
coast natives, Ujiji has always been a great Arab trading 
centre, principally for slaves and ivory in years gone by. 
It is an exceedingly interesting old town with a maze of 
streets and picturesque Arab houses half hidden amongst 
the thick foliage of mango and palm. It is interesting to 
remember that the first steamer on Lake Tanganyika was 
launched by missionaries in 1884. The town came under 
German rule in 1890 and was occupied without resistance 
by the Belgians on July 29th, 1916. 

Shortly after our arrival at Kigoma news was received 
that Peace had been signed, which event was duly celebrated 
in a general holiday, firing of guns, blowing of whistles, 
and a probable ending of sore heads. The death-blow, many 
of us must hope, to German aspirations over Lake Tanganyika. 

15 



The Eastern Congo 

Almost every class of Belgian that I met on my travels 
took an intelligent interest in my entomological work, a 
great deal more so than could possibly have been the case 
in an English colony ; for truly we are a " nation of shop- 
keepers/' intent mainly on our money-grabbing, and worse 
still, giving little or no attention to the beauties of nature. 
Thus it was that I received the generous assistance of both 
individuals and the Government in the carrying forward of 
the expedition to that part of German East Africa occupied 
by the Belgian forces — the Ruanda and Urundi. 

To travel through the heart of these districts, I con- 
sidered that a good starting place would be the Ruchugi 
River, which joins the Malagarasi River near the station and 
salt mines of Gottorp ; some six hours' journey from Kigoma. 

Now, the real difficulties of all such expeditions as the 
one I was making, are (i) the porters and (2) their food. 
Without reliable carriers and headmen in a country such 
as this, any expedition might well fail. Realising this, 
I approached General Malfert, the Governor of the con- 
quered territory. He was much interested in my under- 
taking, and very kindly caused letters to be sent to the 
different *' Chefs de Territoire " to aid me in every possible 
way, thus at once removing a great load from my shoulders. 
At the same time, I was warned that there were certain 
risks attendant upon travelling with my wife in a country 
that was still in rather an unsettled state after the war ; 
these of course had to be accepted. I may say here at once, 
that, owing to this kind action on the part of the Governor, 
I never experienced the slightest difficulty with any natives 
during the whole time I travelled in this region, and it might 
well have been otherwise ! 

16 



Lake Tanganyika 



Thus, the many arrangements having been completed and 
the varied stores and provisions packed into fifty-six-pound 
loads ready for the *' safari/' we boarded the special carriage 
put at our disposal by the kindness of Captain Camus and 
were on our way to Gottorp, where the first gang of carriers 
were to meet us. 

The Kigoma-Tabora line, which was completed in 1912, 
comes out on to Lake Tanganyika through one of the few 
breaks in its eastern ramparts. As we travelled along it, 
we were struck by the neatness and finish of the permanent 
way ; the metals being beautifully laid, mile after mile. 
Where there was a straight stretch of several miles, one 
looked along the converging lines of gleaming metals with- 
out a break to mar their exactness — beautifully done and 
in sharp contrast to other African railways that I know. 
The stations too were trim but solid buildings. This pleasing 
effect was no doubt due to the finishing touches put to the 
railway by the Belgian engineers, who have been busy on 
it ever since its partial destruction by the Germans in their 
retreat. On this account I was extremely glad to hear of 
the decision that the Belgians are to have an interest in 
it, in the form of a special freightage and I believe other 
advantages. Leaving Kigoma at half-past four in the after- 
noon, taking with us pleasant memories of the kindness 
and hospitality we received there, not to mention several 
kinds of cooked and uncooked food showered on us for the 
journey, we arrived at Gottorp about ten o'clock in pitch 
darkness. After unloading our baggage by a dim lamp 
held by a little Belgian, we were faced with the prospect 
of a rather uncomfortable night, perhaps in some out-house 
or other, as the station building appeared to be unlit and 

17 c 



The Eastern Congo 

forbidding. However, we stood and waited with our boys 
and baggage around us for the Uttle soldier with the lamp, 
who was busy talking to the engine driver. His talk was 
soon over, however, and his little bright face turning to 
us asked us in broken English to '' step this way *' and 
he would make us as comfortable as possible, and telling 
us he had had a message by telephone from a friend of his 
in Kigoma to expect us, and that he had some hot coffee 
ready. Before we left Gottorp we were fast friends with 
this little man and a more delightful companion I never 
wish to meet ; nothing was too much trouble ; he would 
insist upon doing everything, and made us thoroughly at 
home in his best room. Perhaps one day '' Petit Albert *' 
may read this and know how much we appreciated his 
kindly nature. 

On the other side of the Malagarasi River are the Gottorp 
salt works, and a large factory erected by a German company 
for the evaporating process. There are several salt springs 
on the concession but the only one in use is found to be 
sufficient to meet the present demand. The brine is pumped 
into reservoirs and then run off into shallow boiling pans 
to be evaporated. The demand, which is increasing, for 
this fine white salt is already extensive, and a very handsome 
annual profit is made. Although at this time it was in the 
hands of the Belgians, it has, I believe, to be handed over 
to the original German concessionaires. 

Whilst waiting at Gottorp for our porters, it was necessary 
to start to train the four raw natives whom I had engaged 
as insect collectors. I had attempted to train two such 
during my stay at Kigoma, with the result that I lost both 
my nets and cyanide bottles in the complete disappearance 

i8 




d. The Gottoip Salt Works. The Evaporated Salt can 
be seen standing in heaps ready for packing into the 
long leaf-covered packages which can be seen on the left. 




d, One of the huge Fishes which are common in Lake 
Tanganyika. This one probably weighs 150 to 160 lb. 




iS 



I 



Lake Tanganyika 

of the two men, after I had sent them off collecting. They 
may have eaten the cyanide — thinking it was jam — for all 
I know (and I hope so), but I have a shrewd idea that the 
explanation lies in the attraction fishing has for all natives. 
They were in all probability induced by their smaller relatives 
to use or lend out my butterfly nets to catch whitebait in 
the harbour, result : torn nets and bad consciences. On 
this occasion I took good care to get the boys away from 
their homes before I gave my nets and bottles over to their 
tender care. They were Swahili natives and an unpromising 
medium for inoculation with the collecting germ. After 
many weeks' patient training I had two passable collectors 
and then only on the ticket system, i.e. giving them a ticket 
with thirty spaces, one space for each day of the month, 
so that on days that they worked well they would have one 
space marked, and on days when they were lazy or spoilt 
the insects by careless handling no marks at all. So we 
got along, but I never made anything of the other two, and 
just when the two best boys were becoming thoroughly 
proficient, they wanted to go back home and I had to set 
about instructing others. The patience of entomologists is 
proverbial, of course, but still there are limits and I often 
reached it with my *' bug-boys." 

Not finding much of interest entomologically at Gottorp, 
and our wild Wahd porters having turned up from Kasulu 
that evening, we prepared to set out the following day for 
our long march to Lake Kivu and the land of the Pigmies. 
In the morning I lined up our fifty porters for their rations 
(or in the Swahili language " posho '') and liked the look 
of them at once. Like my old friends the Awemba of south 
Tanganyika, whom the Waha closely resemble, they were 

19 



The Eastern Congo 

of fine physique with good features and laughing faces. 
Dressed simply in loosely hung goat skins, spear in hand, 
they were the best type of savage man — '' half devil and half 
child/' I got on splendidly with them from the first and 
as we were travelling to their homes in the mountain district 
of the higher Malagarasi, they shouldered their loads with 
light hearts to the accompaniment of blasts on a cow horn. 
^We now said good-bye to '* Petit Albert " with much regret 
and many hand-shakes, facing the future with light hearts, 
whatever might befall. 

As really so much depends on one's cook and personal 
boys in Africa, and as we had selected them with some 
care out of many applicants at Kigoma, I will give a short 
account of them. There were three, one always miraculously 
neat and clean under all circumstances, even though he 
slept in a cow-shed or on a mud-heap ; how he managed 
it no one ever knew. Occasionally one meets white men 
who have the knack, usually fair-haired men, but I may 
say at once I have not this knack, for Fm usually the un- 
tidiest man in the '' safari.'* This number one was a Muganda 
boy from Kampala, very intelligent, plucky, short, fat, 
rather light-skinned, always glum, with no sense of humour 
at all, good at cooking, waiting at table or anything else. 
Such was my *' boy " SaHm — a great lad ! He thought 
himself a cut above anyone else in the *' Safari " and un- 
doubtedly he was. 

Next came Amerikani, my wife's " boy." He had a 
great deal to recommend him excepting his face, for he was 
most frightfully ugly, with the appearance of having had 
his face trodden on when a child, but happily it was a merry 
face with a laughing twinkle in his piggy eyes. He was a 

20 



Lake Tanganyika 



Congo native from the Lukuga River, of medium height, 
lean and hungry but full of frightful energy, instilled into 
him no doubt by a former Belgian mistress for whom he 
worked in his youth. He also was a good cook but a better 
*' dhobi-boy '' (washerman). Salim and he never agreed on 
any subject ! 

Then lastly came the cook, who was always last and the 
worst cook of the lot, unless he was thoroughly roused from 
his usual lethargy by dire threats, and then he could be 
really good and produce tasty dishes out of nothing at all. 
He had the knack of starting to cook a meal at the last 
moment, with the result that anyone paying a visit to the 
*' kitchen " just before meals would find him surrounded 
by a multitude of pots, pans, plates and cups, thrown down 
an3rwhere in his hurry to make room for other things he 
was preparing, and food, feathers, peel and every other kind 
of imaginable article lying around in disorder. The cook's 
name was Masambuka, a Muganda boy, always lazy and 
always dirty. There you have them — an inconsequent 
band of happy-go-luckies, with much that was likeable 
about them. 



21 



CHAPTER III 

AMONGST THE WAHA AND BARUNDI — UP THE VALLEY OF THE 
MALAGARASI TO LAKE CHOHOA 

Fifty or sixty heathen souls with half a hundred loads — 
A gibbering, dusky throng that rolls along the Northern Roads — 
A tattered hawmock, and the rest — we know it, stick and stone, 
We who have left the pleasant West in yearning for our own." 

The Caravan. Verse 1. 

AS our caravan needed some adjustment as regards 
the work to be allotted to each individual, etc., a short 
trek of only a few miles was accomplished on the first 
day, to an abandoned German station named theRushugi Post. 
It is usual on a lengthy expedition such as I was making 
to have a white subordinate to help in these matters, but 
we had none, so that the task my wife and myself set our- 
selves was no light one. To begin with, there were from 
seventy to eighty people, all very hungry, who had to be 
fed and at times their ailments attended to. There was 
the packing and unpacking of loads and selecting of suitable 
camp sites ; there was the water and wood supply to be 
seen to ; the native insect collectors to be sent out in the 
most favourable directions, their killing bottles, boxes, pins 
and nets to be attended to and their and our captures to 
be put away each night and notes made concerning them, 
and a diary written up ; added to this there were photographs 
and kinematographs to be taken and developed and atten- 
tion given to the apparatus and accessories, also there was 
the correspondence and posting of insects and films to England. 
In the dry weather all was plain sailing, but on approaching 

22 



The Waha and Barundi 

the equatorial regions where a more or less heavy storm 
was an almost daily occurrence, these tasks became very 
burdensome to both of us ; this was especially the case 
with the evening work of *' papering " the insects. In 
regions where the insect-fauna was very rich, as many as 
one hundred insects had to be put in envelopes after a long 
and tiring day, and notes made about them, frequently 
occupying me far into the night. The heat, mosquitoes, 
sandflies and other pests were then very trying, taxing one's 
patience to the utmost. 

The foregoing and other particulars which I give later 
on in this book, will enable the reader to gain some idea 
of the work that was before us as we left civilisation behind 
and proceeded on our way up the valley of the Malagarasi. 
This river, which has many sources in the high mountain 
ranges of the north-eastern littoral of Lake Tanganyika, 
sweeps round in a great curve and after draining the low- 
lying marshes north-west of Tabora, crosses the Tabora- 
Kigoma Line and flows into the lake some twenty-five miles 
south of Ujiji. For two days after leaving Rushugi we passed 
through a dry, stony and uninviting country until we reached 
the plains bordering the Sabaka River, the haunt of large 
game of many kinds and an abiding place of many lions 
and tsetse fly. The banks of this river being well wooded 
with tropical foliage, I stayed to collect for two days and then 
pushed on to Kasulu " boma,"* a matter of six hours. As 
the track here was well padded down, this was one of the 
few occasions on which my wife was able to use her bicycle, 
which was fortunate as the day was an intensely hot one, 

* " Boma " is a Swahili word meaning " fort," " stronghold," " fortified 
camp." 

23 



y,VE. 




The Eastern Congo 

and the way long and " fly *' infested. One of our wild 
Waha porters accompanied her, to whom a bicycle was 
a great novelty. This black gentleman amused us con- 
siderably, for he would insist on holding her back wheel 
whilst my wife mounted. Being unaware at first that the 
wheel was so held, she was astonished to find that her bicycle 
would not go when she got on, but when she got off to look 
nothing appeared to be wrong. This sort of thing occurred 
once or twice until, happening to look round sharply, she 
discovered the native holding on like grim death to the back 
tyre, while she attempted to start off in the usual way. 

Towards evening, very wearily, we mounted the steep 
ascent to the Kasulu fortress. The first view one gains 
of this astonishing structure from the ridge to the south 
gives an impression of unreality, especially when one sees 
it at a distance with the sun behind it ; one expects it to 
fade away into the mists of the valley from which it rises. 
Built in white-Vv^ashed cement and stone, like a mediaeval 
castle, on a prominence which rises abruptly from the 
surrounding country, it embodies the German military method 
of colonisation. In direct contrast to these imposing structures 
which may be found throughout late German East Africa, 
are the unpretentious, often homely, *' bomas *' to be found 
just across the boundary in Northern Rhodesia or Uganda, 
telling of a more paternal and withal more fearless method 
— in other words the British method — that scorns to build 
even so much as a palisade against attack. 

Kasulu, which is in the Ujiji district, was at the time 
of our visit one of the principal centres of supply for the 
Belgian army of occupation stationed at Ujiji and Kigoma. 
Mr. Pieters, who was the officer in charge, was in the habit 

24 



The Waha and Barundi 

of sending down large drafts of the big horned cattle every 
\ month to keep it supplied. The native soldiers under him 
were a smart lot of men, and as they were in full dress for 
inspection one morning, I " took " them on the kine-camera, 
also a " mob ** of the big cattle. We spent three days 
within the castle keep, while I collected round about. Not 
finding much of interest, however, we were soon away 
again and saying good-bye to our hospitable friends. They 
had given us many good things and helped to map out my 
future route. 

We were now at an elevation of about 3,600 feet above 
sea level, and having left the low lying central basin of the 
Malagarasi and its '' fly '' infested bush behind us, were 
journeying through the high, down-like mountains that 
enclose it on this side. As Mr. Pieters described it to us, 
Iji the country gets '' worse and worse '* or rather, more 
mountainous and still more mountainous the farther north 
one goes, until it culminates in one of nature's greatest 
efforts, the Virunga or Mfumbiro volcanic range, north-east 
of Lake Kivu. 

The country through which we were passing was under 

the sway of a Watusi sub-chief (or " chef-lieu,'' to use the 

French word) named Kalimba, who is responsible to, and 

placed there by, the King of Ruanda, into whose country 

we had now entered. The high downs on either side of 

[ us were dotted with small farms and banana-groves, enclosed 

by hedges of dwarf euphorbias and caustic milk-weeds. 

5 The soil hereabouts, and as far as the Malagarasi River, is 

e j of a deep rich red colour overlaying a solid ironstone forma- 

i tion, and supports a very rich pasture of short grass on which 

It the numberless herds of large horned cattle wax fat. Before 

25 



The Eastern Congo j 



reaching the higher waters of the Malagarasi our road took 
us over a high ridge to a place called Baira, where we found 
a large native market in full swing — a market made by the 
natives for the natives, all of whom were out-and-out savages 
and very interesting to watch. There must have been quite 
a thousand of them ; clothes were conspicuous by their 
absence ; dilapidated European hats there were none (a 
sure sign this, that you had got away at last from the beaten 
track) and they were bartering such a varied collection of 
things that a list is worth giving, if only as an indication 
of the richness of the country. There were sheep, goats, 
chickens, eggs, butter, milk, bananas, banana-beer, baskets, 
beans, bark-cloth, palm-oil, native soap (made from palm- 
oil and burnt banana skins), sweet potatoes, tomatoes, flour, 
dried and fresh beef, goat, sheep and cow hides, monkey- 
nuts, salt, gourds and native pottery. There were many 
other things too numerous to mention. We bought chickens, 
eggs, butter, beans, monkey-nuts, and a large quantity of 
food for the *' safari,'* brought in by Kalimba's son. 

The following day's march took us down to the banks 
of the Malagarasi River where we camped, after passing 
many miles of rich undulating open country, thickly populated 
and well watered by perennial streams. 

On crossing the Malagarasi into the Urundi district the 
country changes somewhat. The scrub is of a sturdier 
growth and large stretches of bamboo are met with and 
game is again plentiful. The red soil is replaced by one 
of a greyish colour and more friable in texture. The purple 
veronica here assumes tree-like proportions, forming miniature 
forests of great beauty, and just before reaching Kihofi we 
passed the largest forest of wild bananas I have ever seen. 

26 



The Waha and Barundi 

Kihofi, where it was necessary to obtain fresh porters, a 
most uninviting place in itself, nevertheless stands facing 
the most wonderful mountain scenery, which forms the escarp- 
ment of the Nkoma plateau. We had seen these imposing 
buttresses from afar and now knew that we had arrived at 
the beginning of Mr. Pieters's '* worse and worse." What 
the end would be did not bear contemplation. Kihofi is 
a post of minor importance and is probably abandoned ere 
this, but it proved very useful as a stage on our northward 
journey. Having called on the *' sous-officier '* to make 
myself and my work known to him, he very kindly asked 
us to dinner, which contrary to the usual Belgian meal was 
the worst we had ever attended, his cook's " steak- Americain " 
nearly laying us out flat. Now " steak- Americain '* may be 
all very well if put up by a good chef in Europe or America, 
shut in a country where tape- worm is endemic and cooks 
never clean, this dish was something to shun like the plague ; 
moreover it was smeared with raw eggs which put the finishing 
touch in more ways than one. I am sorry to say that after 
saying good night we were thankful to get outside and escape 
Ito our camp. 

After waiting here two more days, our Barundi porters 
came in and with them " the smell.'' This smell of rancid 
butter and cow's urine was never to leave us night nor day 
for many weeks, and eventually permeated everything we 
had, including our beds. Now, as is well known to all 
ORuandaites, both the Barundi and the Wahutu are cattle- 
biad ; they have no money but cattle, and like misers and 
their gold, they will die for them if necessary. The two 
races (under the despotic rule of the King of the Ruanda 
who may be said to have a claim on all Hvestock) — are the 

27 



The Eastern Congo 



owners of countless thousands of cattle, and the be-all and 
end-all of their existence can be summed up in the one 
word — cattle. They will eat it (any part raw or cooked, 
including the hide), sleep it, sing it, steal it. 

In spite of the beef they eat and the milk they drink 
the Barundi natives, unlike the Wahutu of the Ruanda, 
through some physical disability or degeneracy have no 
stamina and are quite unable to do any hard manual labour. 
They were tried by the Germans on railway construction 
with disastrous results. Many died and the rest ran away, 
taking with them all the telegraph wire they could lay their 
hands on, to make into anklets and bangles. 

So much for the Barundi who composed our new caravan ; 
so many smelly devils with low types of countenance and 
nasty ways, not a square yard of cloth between them but 
each carrying a long spear. 

The first day out from Kihofi took us up the bare face 
of the great Nyakasu escarpment which had threatened 
our path for so long. Next to the Virunga volcanoes and 
the Ruwenzori range this proved to be the stiffest ascent 
we were to encounter on our travels. It brought us up 
on to a high grassy plateau where the air was so intensely 
invigorating that fatigue was forgotten and movement became 
a positive delight. The view was so extensive and of such 
a beautiful nature — fold on fold of grassy downs and ridges 
in a sea of blue haze — that I for one felt that I stood on top 
of the world and gazed over its edge. From this smal 
plateau we made a gradual descent along its northern exten 
sion into the Nkoma Mountains where we camped for th< 
night by one of the numberless sparkling burns that intersec 
this wonderful country in all directions. These streams 

28 



The Waha and Barundi 

although one of the most dehghtful features of Burundi, 
hide the satyr's face of Africa behind the smihng mask, 
for the Barundi have the disgusting superstition that their 
dead must be placed in a running stream, under a waterfall 
for preference, to allow their spirits to be carried away on 
its waters. Thus, almost all the rivers are polluted in this 
way and the utmost care has to be exercised in obtaining 
and boiling the water for drinking purposes. We continually 
saw skulls and bones lying about and always close to the 
river beds. We were unable to account for this, until one 
day when out collecting butterflies I came on two gruesome 
bundles tied up in rotting mats and bark-cloth, with parts of 
arms and legs poking out, placed beneath a pretty waterfall. 
I then made inquiries and elicited the foregoing facts. I 
lighted on another of these gruesome objects in worse case 
farther along our way and the combination upset us for 
many days ; it was difficult for imaginative white people 
to disassociate the washing-water or hot tea (although we 
l^ank coffee continuously after this), from the thought of 
what might have been reposing in it. 

On nearing Kitega we crossed over the watershed from 
the Tanganyika region into that of the Victoria-Nyanza 
Basin. Across the same treeless wind-swept downs and 
ridges but characterised by no typical mountain range to 

^ mark the divide. 

At Kitega, which the Belgians have made their centre 
lor the administration of this portion of late German East 

^ Africa, we were received with the utmost kindness (in the 
ibsence of the Resident), by Mr. Gernaert-Willmar and were 
kiven a just-completed office building in which to make our 
!juarters. The village — or town if you may call it such — 

29 



The Eastern Congo 

was a place of some consequence to the Germans, as it 
contains, apart from one of the huge German fortresses, 
some good stone residential buildings. The Belgians have 
still further improved the place by the addition of the fine 
building which we occupied. Glass being unobtainable, 
mica squares were used in the construction of the windows, 
obtained I am told from the mica mines near Karema, on 
the south-eastern coast of Lake Tanganyika, at a cost of fifty 
centimes per square of eight inches by five inches. Kitega, 
which overlooks the higher Ruwuwu (or Ruvubu) Valley 
is now connected by a good motor-road, through the inter- 
vening mountainous country, with Usumbura on Lake Tan- 
ganyika and is situated some third of the way along the 
old caravan route to the Victoria-Nyanza. As it stands 
at close on six thousand feet above sea level the climate 
leaves nothing to be desired and the nights are cold. 

The Independence of the Belgian Congo being celebrated 
on the twenty-first of July, the Belgians took advantage 
of the first occasion of the celebration of this fete in late 
German East Africa, by organising an enormous gathering 
of the native inhabitants from all parts of the Ruanda and 
Urundi. This proved a great success and resulted in a 
week's festivities, enlivened with dances, gymkanas and the 
drinking of much banana-beer. From photographs shown 
me by the Belgians at Kitega and judging by the fact that 
there were upwards of twenty thousand natives and all 
the big chiefs of the two districts present, the spectackj 
must have been an imposing one. The native military banc 
known to many as '' the latest Belgian atrocity,'' was sen 
up from Kigoma and no doubt helped to enliven the pro 
ceedings still more. The Resident killed two birds witll 

30 




C Baskets of various kinds for sale on the Native Market 
of Baira. The closed baskets are for storing grain, 
the round open ones for sifting and carrying it. 




d. The Fortress of Kasulu, in the Urundi 
District. Built by the Germans, and about 
to be completed when war broke out. 



The Waha and Barundi 

one stone, for towards the end of the festivities he assembled 
all the chiefs in the court house and gave them a few lessons 
on their new duties under Belgian rule. 

That we arrived a week too late for this unique display 
is a matter of the greatest regret to me, for the opportunity 
to take moving pictures of such an event is never likely 
to pass my way again. 

We were late in getting away from Kitega with our new 

lot of porters, and perforce had to travel to the Mugera 

iMission, our first halt, in the heat of the day. After the 

dusty track and the really stiff climb up to this Mission 

istation, we were delighted to reach the shade of the many 

beautiful trees planted there. Mugera, which stands on 

the summit of a mountain six thousand five hundred feet 

high, is one of the oldest missions in this part of the country, 

being established there by the White Fathers as far back 

as the year 1900. The Fathers, always such delightful 

people, gave us a hearty welcome, all the more so because 

l^e were the first visitors they had had for many months. 

There were four Fathers and five Sisters at this Mission, 

presided over by a bright-eyed Father-Superior named 

Bonneau, with whom we became fast friends in a few hours. 

IThe following morning after taking photographs we were 

[as usual provided with the best they had in the way of fresh 

;|food, which included in this instance oranges and two fat 

Mtiomesticated rabbits, and so we passed on, carrying with us 

'hat jovial '' well met " kind of feeling, the secret of which 

' Les Peres Blancs ** seem to hold. 

We made many friends amongst the Belgians and the 
ast on the list, Mr. Gernaert-Willmar, the '' Administra- 
eur " of Kitega, rather felt his responsibility regarding my 

31 



The Eastern Congo 

expedition travelling through his district. There being a 
lady in the case he wished to make our journey as safe 
and pleasant as possible, and so hit on the brilliant idea of 
putting the commissariat and other arrangements for our 
*' safari '* to Lake Chohoa in the hands of a very smart 
black corporal from one of the Congo regiments. Knowing 
the country well by reason of his having been through it 
during the war, this soldier was in jail for some offence : 
stealing a goat or something of the sort — so Mr. Willmar 
decided to let him out and reduce his sentence on the under- 
standing that he did well for us. I was to report his behaviour 
on reaching our destination. This arrangement worked very 
well, the corporal doing everything in his power to procure 
good guides and porters and to keep the whole " safari ** 
well supplied with foodstuffs from the local sultans en route. 
He took especial pains that we should have a good daily 
supply of fresh milk. Therefore, the day after leaving 
Mugera we were not greatly astonished when the milk supply 
was heralded in by two cows and a calf being driven full 
tilt into camp, and " operations *' begun on them close to 
our tent. Much to everybody's amusement and to the great 
danger of camp furniture, ** operations *' consisted of firstly 
catching your cows and then with gentle persuasion inducing 
them to give their milk by fanning away the flies and rubbing 
their backs. The calf of one of them had died, causing hei 
to be very refractory in consequence, only being broughl 
to reason by giving her a sight and smell of the skin of hei 
dead offspring stuffed with straw. With this weird specimei 
of native taxidermy the owner followed her, making j 
clucking sound at intervals, resulting in the comfortin 
of the cow and inducing her to stand quietly to be milkec 

32 



The Waha and Barundi 

Most of the Belgian officials when travelling in the district 
carry a big gourd or demi-john with them, which they have 
filled with milk in the morning and carried on the head of 
a porter. The milk, which is very rich, is partly churned 
in this way, and towards evening it is only necessary to 
give the vessel an extra shake to obtain a good quantity 
of butter. We, however, could never get milk in sufficient 
quantities to do this, as the Barundi will only part with 
fresh milk under pressure, preferring to let the calves have 
any surplus over and above their daily wants. 

Like the Wahenga of Lake Nyasa, the Barundi become 
immensely attached to their cattle (and no wonder, as they 
are such fine beasts), but also like the Wahenga they carry 
this liking a bit too far for the European, by using cow's 
urine for cleaning out their milking and other utensils. 

Arms are carried, but seldom used, in this part of the 

country, either for defence or sport. That they would be 

i wanted badly and in a hurry or not at all, was the thought 

-^ that came to me as our caravan wound in and out through 

the steep passes and over the ridges of this treeless country. 

For capping many a ridge were to be observed groups of 

truculent-looking savages, leaning on their long spears. 

As a matter of fact the Barundi are a very peace-loving 

people. Yet sometimes (as was the case not many months 

ago, when the Belgians had to execute a Watusi chief in 

of ^this self-same district for the murder of some forty people, 

ol^ ! including two mail carriers) it would seem as if, under the 

%0 'rule of an unscrupulous Watusi sultan, they might prove 

inj very dangerous to travellers through their country. 

lioitii I In this case the natives, I think, were more interested 

in us than badly disposed ; we were in any case well 

33 D 



The Eastern Congo 

armed with five rifles, and a load of ammunition, not to 
mention our two policemen. 

As mentioned previously the Barundi do not make good 
porters; thus it was that the fourth day out from Kitega, 
and having crossed the Ruvubu River, we had to obtain 
a fresh lot to take us on our way. To ourselves, as well 
as the carriers, these long steep-sided downs became very 
fatiguing ; so as a rule we made camp at midday, spending 
the afternoon in collecting insects and recuperating for the 
following day's trek. My collecting boys were now, after a 
month's training, beginning to prove useful and often brought 
me something new and interesting, anything good being 
rewarded with a small amount of tobacco as an encourage- 
ment. Thus the days passed in hard physical exercise which 
toughened our muscles for the many hundreds of miles we 
had yet to go, and presently brought us to Lake Chohoa, 
within the boundary of that highly interesting riverine district 
situated directly between Lake Kivu and the Victoria-Nyanza. 

Before closing this chapter, however, and for the infor- 
mation of would-be travellers in the region we had just 
traversed, let me offer a note of warning to anyone attempting 
to pass through Central Urundi in the rains. Nothing more 
inhospitable or depressing can well be found than these 
vast and monotonous steppes in the rainy season, and to 
be caught in a heavy storm on the summit of one of these 
great wind-swept downs, away from shelter of any kind, 
might well lead to disaster. The only time to make the 
trip is between the months of May and August, and then 
the help of the Government is necessary or one is indeed 
likely to find oneself stranded without a single porter, aT 
having disappeared in the night. 

34 



iS 










d, Kitega, the administrative centre of Barundi. Another 
gieat German Fortress can be seen in the background. 




d. Mugera, a mission station of the \\'hite Fathers. 



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CHAPTER IV 

LAKE CHOHOA AND THE RUANDA — THE WATUSI AND THEIR 

KING, JUKI MSINGA 

" Hemmed about by swamp and bushland, barriered by mighty lakes. 
Dwelt the Benangandu Chieftains in their tangled, matted brakes — 
Autocrats who swayed their people not by knife or fire alone. 
Not alone by mutilation or the sacrificial stone, 
But in virtue of their Kingship — Chieftains to the very bone." 

The Crocodile Kings. Verse I. 

WE had now reached that unmapped region of small 
lakes which lies between the Akanyaru and Kagera 
Rivers. So little known was it at the outbreak of 
war in 1914, that the Belgian army in its advance from the 
north two years later, being without a map to go on, com- 
pletely lost itself amongst the many ramifications of these 
lakes. The Germans themselves were in no better case, 
with the result that the two forces became engaged in a 
game of hide-and-seek to find the best way out of it. Our 
friend, the Italian Father-Superior of the Kaninya Mission 
on Lake Chohoa, had the novel experience of entertaining, 
on the same day, first the German commanding officer 
and then a few hours later the Belgian commander, neither 
aware of each other's proximity or the whereabouts of the 
force which each opposed. I don't suppose that either 
officer will ever know that they nearly butted into each 
other, unless they happen to read these lines. 

For some weeks past I had been very doubtful of the 
accuracy of the Ordnance Survey (1916) maps of German 
East Africa that I had with me. I now found out how 
absolutely wrong and misleading they were. I trust that 

35 



The Eastern Congo 

it is not too much to hope that the Belgians, who now have 
command of the country and are not Hkely to forget their 
experiences here during the war, will carry out a well-organised 
survey of this interesting region. 

Lake Chohoa, in conjunction with the larger lake of 
Mohazi, may be considered as the submerged part of a valley 
without an outlet, which would account no doubt for its 
dearth of large fish, for the largest fish to be found in this 
lake does not exceed five or six inches. There are hippo 
in the north-eastern extremity, which they seem to favour, 
but no crocodiles anywhere in the lake. Water-fowl are 
abundant and the pythons both here and in the papyrus 
swamps of the Akanyaru assume huge dimensions and are 
very commonly seen. A large specimen killed by one of f 
the Fathers, who showed me its photograph, measured twenty- 
three feet eight inches long with the exceptional circum- 
ference of thirty-nine inches ; the Father assured me that i 
this monster was so old and sluggish that the native children * 
from a village near-by were playing around and patting it , 
when he arrived on the scene. The Barundi have a strange 
superstition regarding these animals and never kill them, 
believing that to do so will bring down vengeance upon 
those who do, by all their children becoming sterile. 

I was once privileged to witness some years ago on the 
Luangwa River in Northern Rhodesia, a fight betw^een ar 
adult male bushbuck and a heavy nineteen-foot python ; ^ 
How, if the python had come off victor, he would have manage( ^ 
to sw^allow the bushbuck is hard to surmise, for the circum 
ference of the antelope's body was about four times tha 
of the python's mouth. Personally, I am of the opinio 
that the great snake, in a rash moment induced by hunge 

36 



Lake Chohoa and the Ruanda 

had bitten off rather more than he could chew. When I 
came upon the scene, attracted by the commotion in the 
grass, the bushbuck was exhausted with its struggles but not 
crushed, and judging by the flattened grass all around, the 
fight had been going on for some time. The python had a 
firm grip with its teeth of the fleshy part of the buck's leg, 
from which blood was flowing and had freely sprinkled the 
grass round about. The bushbuck had escaped so far owing 
to the fact that there was no tree or bush within reach on 
to which the python could get a purchase for the squeezing 
process — this I put down to the instinct of the antelope 
who had seemingly manoeuvred away from them. Neither 
the one nor the other took any notice of me as I stood and 
watched, completely fascinated by the sight. So the struggle 
went on, the python continually flopping the heavy part 
of his coils over and around the bushbuck, which lay side- 
ways on the ground ; the buck, however, always managed 
to slip away from beneath them. As I had had a long and 
tiring day elephant hunting and was still many miles from 
camp I had perforce to leave, so I set the bushbuck free by 
shooting the python — the plucky little beast limped away 
in sorry plight but with every chance of recovery. 

From what natives have told me, also borne out by my 
own observations, I am of the opinion that a python first 
attracts the curiosity of its prey by wriggling the end of 
its tail in one place, then striking with its head and throwing 
the weight of its body on the unsuspecting prey from behind. 
The *' fascinating *' or '* hypnotising '* theory is all very 
well for birds and some of the small mammals, but there 
is no hypnotising of such redoubtable opponents as bush- 
buck or the larger ichneumons or civets — it must therefore 

37 



The Eastern Congo 

be some such sudden onslaught as the one I have 
suggested. 

Entomologically I found the neighbourhood of Lake 
Chohoa very interesting but as I arrived there at the end of 
the dry season when insect hfe is more or less dormant, I 
did not succeed in making so good a collection as I might 
otherwise have done. As the regions through which we 
had now passed — rather contrary to expectations, I admit — 
had not proved very rich in insect fauna, I decided to reach 
Lake Kivu with as little delay as possible. To this end 
I paid off our old carriers and with the help of the White 
Fathers obtained a fresh lot of men to take us to Nyanza, 
four days* journey away, the residence of Juhi, Sultan of 
Ruanda. Having arranged the day previous for canoes 
to be in readiness at the crossing of the Akanyaru, we turned 
due west from Kaninya Mission and reached the east bank 
of that river as the first storm of the rainy season was about 
to break. The Akanyaru River, which here flows south 
to north through a hilly country covered with sparse bush, 
joins the Kagera below Kigali and is overgrown on both 
banks by many square miles of papyrus beds, through which 
our caravan pushed its way with considerable difficulty. 
Heat, engendered by the fermenting morass below and the 
sun above, became very trying to the temper, especially so 
as the bent papyrus stems were either tripping one up or 
poking into one's ribs. Clear water was presently reached 
but proved to be no more than a breathing space sixty yards 
wide at the outside, after which we again had to plunge into 
the fevered swamp. After a while we came through and 
mounting the high west bank, were able to look back over 
the sea of papyrus through which our carriers were still 

38 



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Lake Chohoa and the Ruanda 

struggling cheerfully. The following day we reached another 
Roman Catholic Mission called Isawi, where we were very 
kindly put up for the night. Here my boy, Salim, was 
taken very ill with pneumonia, and as we wished to push 
on to Nyanza he had to be left in the Mission hospital mean- 
while. 

After leaving the short mountain forest, or scrub to use 
a more appropriate term, of the Akanyaru Valley, one 
ascends again to the steppe region on its western side, in 
every respect similar to that through which we had been 
travelling, north of Kitega. 

We had sent on word to the Belgian " Chef de Terri- 
toire " at Nyanza, notifying him of our expected arrival 
that day but we were quite unprepared for the reception 
that awaited us. Towards three o'clock in the afternoon, 
having accomplished the twenty miles' trek that separates 
Isawi from Nyanza or '* Niansa,'' we arrived — dressed in 
our oldest and shabbiest attire — in front of the '' boma," 
expecting to find only Lieutenant Defawe, the official in 
charge of the district and adviser to Msinga. Lieutenant 
Defawe was certainly there and he came out to meet us 
but with him were the Resident, Major van den Eede, two 
judges of the High Court, Messieurs Delauney and Vos, 
and a '' Procureur de Roi '' whose name I forget. We were 
dehghted to hear that they had kindly waited lunch for us, 
to which we did ample justice, for we were fearfully hungry 
after the long march. It turned out that they were adjusting 
war compensation cases. They all proved to be the happiest 
of companions, so we spent several merry evenings together. 

The day after our arrival we were to meet Sultan Msinga, 
King of the Watusi, so before I go further it would be as 

39 



The Eastern Congo 



well to give my readers an outline of the history of 
this singular race, of whom Msinga was the chief 
representative. 

Broadly speaking the Ruanda (when speaking of 
" Ruanda " I mean the Burundi district as well) is inhabited 
by two classes of negroes, namely the Barundi, Bahutu and 
dwarf Batwa, who are the slave tribes or working classes ; 
and the Watusi, who are the aristocratic or ruling class which 
never works. The Watusi are a tall race, many of the men 
being seven feet high and even more. They are the original 
conquerors of the country and came down from the north, 
most probably being contemporary with the coming of the 
Masai to East Africa, bringing with them the forerunners 
of the countless herds of horned stock to be found in the 
Ruanda to-day. Hamitic in origin and of the same stock 
as the Bahima of Uganda, these natives present a most 
graceful and dignified appearance and moreover possess 
the rare qualities of honesty and truthfulness, so seldom 
found amongst the inhabitants of Africa to-day, with 
high foreheads, oval faces, and clean-cut features of Egyptian 
cast. We never tired of watching them. To see a group 
of these fine fellows talking and laughing together was 
a real pleasure, which could never be the case with the 
snub-nosed Bantu tribes. Other points of interest about 
them were their beautifully shaped hands and feet and their 
satiny skins, often bronze in colour. Their hair too, although 
typically woolly, is given special attention, being coifed 
in bizarre though symmetrical patterns, often with a comb 
stuck in it or a single string of pearl-beads through it or 
round it, giving them the smartest appearance. As most 
of them are extremely tall and well proportioned, their diet 

40 



Lake Chohoa and the Ruanda 

of bananas and milk, of which they eat and drink inordinate 

quantities, would seen to be the ideal food. 

j Conditions have changed very little in Ruanda since the 

f country first became definitely known to explorers some 

thirty years ago. It still remains the greatest and one of 

the last realms to be governed autocratically by a negro king, 

ij whose word is law and who can command immediate and 

unquestionable obedience from any one of his three million 

subjects. 

It is a thousand pities but nevertheless undeniable that 
this great domain must disintegrate before the advance of 
western civilisation. Even now signs of this are by no means 
wanting, for together with the Kabare district on the Uganda 
side it forms the richest cattle country in Africa to-day, 
and will be bound to prove of immense value to the world's 
food supply. The opening up of this rich country will, 
however, be retarded to a great extent by the fact that the 
Belgians (who have more than enough to manage in their 
own colony) hold it under mandate from the League of 
Nations. It is thus connected commercially with the west 
instead of the east coast of Africa to which it geographically 
and ethnographically belongs, and unless the railway pro- 
jected by the Germans is carried into the heart of the district, 
either from Tabora or Bukoba, it may be some time before 
the Ruanda feel the menace of the outer world. In any 
event, and before long, the unsullied nature and untrammelled 
; existence of both Watusi and Wahutu ahke must fall before 
; a yapping and intriguing throng of money-grubbers. 

Now, Juhi Msinga* to give him his correct title, and the 

•The meaning of Juhi is, metaphorically, the one who cannot cross the 
, Malagarasi River or see Niragongo Volcano and live — an attribute of all the 
t ; Kings of Ruanda successively. 

41 



The Eastern Congo 

policy he followed in the past, have many detractors. He has 
been described as heartless and cruel and is said to have done 
away with several of his brothers to obtain the throne. This 
is partly true, no doubt, but in those days it was a case of 
the best man wins and if he did crucify one or two robbers 
it was probably no more than they deserved. I have a 
shrewd idea that these stories are kept up by missionaries, 
who are chagrined at their non-success in Christianising the 
king and his Watusi subjects. I am given to understand 
the Government itself rather opposes this course, as 
Christianity means the abolition of polygamy, with the in- 
evitable result in this case that the Watusi race would lose 
its power and break up the existing order of things which 
runs so smoothly, and which the Government have an interest 
in keeping alive. I personally hold the opinion that the 
missionising of the Watusi would completely spoil them 
bringing many evils in its train. 

Sultan Msinga, whose clan — the Bega — is the most fearec 
amongst the Watusi, stands very little short of seven fee 
in height. Although at first his appearance is unprepossessin 
owing to his defective eyesight and protruding teeth, w 
found him intelligent and possessing the same likeable qualitie 
common to all the Watusi. Towards the end of our nir 
days' stay at Niansa we got to know the man and his thre 
strapping sons quite well, and our first impression of hi: 
still remains the same, that he has many amiable qualiti 
and is especially amenable to good influences. My wii, 
being one of the very few white women he had seen, interest* 1 
him immensely, and he never tired of closely examini; 
anything she happened to be wearing, sometimes to t' 
extent of embarrassment. 

42 I 



» n 




A Negro Millionaire 

d, Juhi Msinga, the Supreme Chief of the Ruanda, one 

of the greatest of African Potentates. His signature 

(and stamp), which are seen below, may one 

day be much sought after by Kings of Finance. 




d. The Audience Chamber of Sultan Msinga. 




d. The lirst photograph of W'atusi Women to be 
pubhshed in England. Sultan Msinga in the centre ; 
his mother has her face covered ; the other women 
are the principal members of his harem, and all 
have their legs loaded with coils of fibre rings. 



Lake Chohoa and the Ruanda 

It is well known that Msinga*s mother has a great deal 
to do with all matters connected with the upholding of the 
reigning dynasty ; she is and always has been the '' political 
wire-puller/' no important step being taken without her 
advice. We were therefore interested and pleased to know 
that Lieutenant Defawe in conjunction with Msinga had 
arranged for us to make her acquaintance, together with 
Msinga's principal wives. Now, it will be found on reading 
books of travel by authors who have visited Niansa that 
none of them has even so much as seen a Watusi woman, 
let alone the Sultan's mother and harem ; we were therefore 
accorded a privilege which has been extended to very few. 
The fact that these ladies had previously seen only one other 
white woman in all their lives, no doubt acted as an induce- 
ment to the breaking of their rule of seclusion. 

On the day arranged for the visit, Major van den Eede 
(the Resident of Ruanda), Lieutenant Defawe, my wife and 
myself proceeded to the Sultan's enclosure, a maze of palisaded 
houses and compounds, through which we were guided to 
the bematted seraglio. These women practically confine 
themselves to dark and windowless houses, the one in which 
we found the mother and Sultanas being no exception, for 
it was darkened not only by smoke but with curiously-shaped 
. mats directly across the entrance. After a few minutes, 
and when our eyes became accustomed to the dim light, 
we were able to make out the tall forms of five women squatting 
on chairs, who greeted us pleasantly with smiles and hand- 
shakes. The mother struck one as being exceptionally tall 
and graceful although elderly ; her height was enhanced 
by a bead tiara, having two slender horns standing up on 
either side of the head, perhaps ten to twelve inches in length ; 

43 



The Eastern Congo 

her legs were encased from ankle to knee in roll upon roll 
of plaited fibre rings, a good eight inches deep. The Sultanas 
were similarly ornamented but not to such an extent. As 
we could not speak their language and had to use Lieutenant 
Defawe as an interpreter, we got on very well considering, 
many questions being asked and answered on both sides. 
In return for the present of beads that we had brought along, 
we were now presented with four neatly woven little baskets 
at the making of which the Watusi women excel, but as 
these baskets are difficult to obtain and were the first that 
had come our way, this pleased us immensely. With many 
handshakes we now retired, glad to have had the opportunity 
of seeing the Watusi women, but glad, too, to get out of the 
stifling atmosphere within their hut. 

Both Msinga and his adviser Lieutenant Defawe must 
have taken quite a liking to us, for they did all in their power 
to interest and amuse us during our stay with them. Having 
a cinematograph camera with me I expressed a wish to take 
some pictures of Watusi dances and sports, especially the 
high-jump, at which I had heard they could beat all records. 
No sooner said than done, and the word went round that or 
a certain day, Msinga required the attendance of his besi 
dancers and young warriors to a dance- tournament. Botl 
my wife and myself looked forward to the day with th( 
greatest enthusiasm, feehng sure our friends the Watus 
would do justice to the occasion. The day selected turnec 
out to be perfect : sunny yet refreshingly cool at this si; 
thousand feet altitude. 

All was in readiness as we entered the great courtyar 
facing the Sultan's highly-arched residence — even to bee 
and cigarettes placed at our disposal by Msinga himsel 

44 



Lake Chohoa and the Ruanda 

We took our seats and the word was given that the throng 
of natives standing without might enter the enclosure, re- 
sulting in a stream of two to three thousand natives pouring 
in and seating themselves on either side of it, forming, no 
doubt, a highly critical as well as a picturesque audience. 
All eyes were now turned on the entrance at the far end of 
the enclosure through which there presently appeared a 
line of Batwa natives, each carrying a long-handled hoe. 
The whole string of them having advanced to the centre 
of the arena, a dance began accompanied by a weird dirge, 
in which at intervals individuals left the line and throwing 
their hoes high in the air caught them as they came down — 
a highly dangerous proceeding to the uninitiated ; this was 
the " Dance of the Hoes.'' Next on the list came a selection 
by the Batwa Drum Band, very good of its kind ; here also 
at intervals some of the performers advanced alone and 
danced with their drums, man and drum becoming a species 
of human whirligig. As Msinga rather fancies himself as 
a drummer, he took a hand, giving us a solo. Then came the 
'* star turn " and " danse de luxe " ; every dancer a chief's 
son well trained, beautifully dressed in shining white head- 
dress of long hair and white-tanned skin aprons neatly 
tasselled ; and wearing metal rings around their ankles. 
There were twenty, perhaps more, and entering the en- 
closure danced towards us in perfect time. Then, lining up 
in two rows, to a weird wild melody sung by an old man and 
accompanied by the sound of their ringing anklets, they 
danced with that complete abandon and fierceness in which 
the heart of the real savage delights. These two dances 
ended all too soon, with a salute and obesiance to Msinga 
and the delighted spectators. 

45 



The Eastern Congo 



We now moved to a flat grassy space without the en- 
closure to witness a display of archery, throwing the lance 
and the famous high- jumping. Here my wife provided tea 
and cakes but this was a ** wash-out " as far as Msinga was 
concerned, for he never eats in public. 

Both the Watusi and Batwa are good shots with the 
bow and arrow, being able to hit a small mark at a hundred 
paces. Holding the bow diagonally in front of them and 
stretching it to its utmost by a forward and downward move- 
ment of the body, they let fly as the bow is brought down. 
The high- jump was the most interesting part of this enter- 
tainment, the Watusi who took part in it clearing with a 
straight jump a good seven feet six inches from a low " take 
off'' of hard clay. After seeing this performance my wife 
had little hesitation in placing herself, when asked, beneath 
the cross-stick to be jumped over ; this was done with feet 
and to spare, also a jump was made over three natives 
standing in a row, one in front of another. 

With some bouts of wrestling the day came to an 
end, and having thanked Msinga most heartily for the 
splendid time he had given us, we walked back to camp to 
attend once again to the packing of loads and to a hundred 
and one other things, in preparation for our march to Lake 
Kivu. 



46 




d. The " Danse de Luxe " described in this chapter. 




C, The Sultan's Leading Singer, who provides 
the only melody for the dancing. 



CHAPTER V 

TO LAKE KIVU AND THE VOLCANIC REGION 

" The song of the ships is far to hear, the hum of the world is dead, 
A nd lotus-life in a drowsy year our benison instead ; 
Why should we push the world along, live in a whirl of flame, 
When the Pace of the Ox is steady and strong and the end is just the same ?" 

BOTH Msinga and Lieutenant Defawe had been so kind to 
us that it was with genuine regret that our farewells 
were said on the morning of our departure from Niansa. 
We were, moreover, given a great send-off by the Sultan 
himself and the majority of his male relatives. Two of 
his own body-guard, under his special instructions, were 
attached to our '' safari '' as guides and escort. 

Previously we had given Msinga as good a present as 
our means would allow, this being returned on his part by 
a gift of three pieces of fine Batwa pottery which were 
packed away with our other mementoes. Thus ended a 
memorable occasion, and we *' hit the track " for pastures 
new. 

For several years it had been my dearest wish to visit 
Lake Kivu and the wonderful volcanoes to the north, but 
up till now no opportunity had presented itself. So it was 
with the keenest pleasure that I set forth to cover the four 
days* journey to Rubengera on the eastern littoral of the 
lake, and at this time a small Belgian outpost situated about 
half way down its length. The country between Niansa 
and the summits of the Kivu watershed is drained by a 
smit river of good size named the Njawarongo, another 
affluent of the Kagera. The pasture of this valley is the 

47 



The Eastern Congo J 

richest and closest I have ever seen, the district being noted 
for the immense white-horned red cattle it produces. Herds 
of these splendid beasts were frequently to be seen in charge 
of Wahutu herdsmen, wearing their novel rain-cloaks made 
of basket-work and banana leaves. 

Overlooking the Njawarongo River stands a deserted 
German mission station, which we reached on the second 
day out from Niansa. A pretty place with good buildings, 
but like all abandoned homes in Africa very depressing even 
to the passing traveller. 

The following day took us up the steep western slope of 
the Njawarongo Valley, and again on to the immense elevated 
downs that here mark the watershed between Nile and 
Congo. From here we overlooked the rift- valley or valley 
of the great lakes, with Lake Kivu far below us but as yet 
hidden from view by the twists and turns of the narrow 
valley down which we were making our way. 

The Germans have gone to much trouble and expenditure 
of labour in making a graded road winding down to the lake 
round precipices and over ravines, in a wonderful way. Thii 
road, although overgrown and in bad repair, was a grea 
boon to us. One is quite astonished to find the cutting 
and gradings so well done. It would indeed be possibl 
with the addition of iron bridges and culverts to lay a ligl: 
railway along it. 

Lake Kivu, when we did see it — although only a fe 
miles away — was so hazy that the lake itself and KwiJA 
Island seemed to merge into the horizon. We had, in fac 
been looking at it for some time without knowing it. Lat 
on, however, as we descended to Rubengera this haze liftec; 
the lake changed from pale to a deeper blue and its mai^ | 

48 I ' 



Lake Kivu 

j islands and sharp promontories stood out clear and green 
in the morning light. 

Rubengera, which is one hour-and-a-half's journey from 

I the small bay of Msaho, held little of interest for us. There- 
fore after staying one night with some missionaries who had 
just arrived there, we pushed on to Murunda, seven hours' 
march to the north. This place we found to be a well-built 
mission, founded by the White Fathers and in charge of two 
black padres. It lies in the midst of fine mountain scenery 

; and close to the southern extension of the Bugoie Forest, 

! known locally as Kasiba. 

For the past seven weeks we had been travelling through 

i an almost treeless country, rich neither in flora nor fauna. 
j j The getting of firewood even was a continual source of worry, 
j j and used as we had become to the forest region, by many years' 
, j residence in it, we were more than pleased to see trees around 

j us again and to know that this question was at least shelved 
J, j for the time being. The fact that a large and unexplored 
l( j forest stood close by, holding possibly rare animals and 

I I insects was, in our eyes, also an added attraction to the 
g, district in which we now found ourselves. 

jjj Owing to its inaccessibility, the Kasiba Forest has seldom 
•j I been visited by travellers and bordering as it does the un- 
known country of the Bugoie dwarfs, was likely to prove 
interesting both entomologically and by reason of the fact 
1 1 that it was said to be the home of the Kivu gorilla and also 
g j^^^t appeared to be (from a photograph shown me by a 
^ jl White Father) a new species of chimpanzi. 
y; j Deciding, therefore, to pay this forest a visit, I set about 
|{i 5^^^ ^^^^ o^ finding guides. Still having Msinga's messengers 
^ jWith me this did not prove diificult ; so leaving my wife 

49 E 



The Eastern Congo 

behind at the Mission I was soon on my way, accompanied 
by twelve local carriers. 

After some hours I found myself climbing a stiff ascent 
to the summit of the watershed, along the ridge of which 
could be discerned the outskirts of the dense forest for 
which I was making. 

Shortly after picking up the three Batwa guides we arrived, 
very short of wind, at the end of a sharp, bush-clad ridge ; 
following this along, it presently brought us to a suitable 
camping place on the edge of the Kasiba Forest, and over- 
looking Lake Kivu. I contented myself for the rest of the 
day, after my tent was pitched, by collecting butterflies 
along the icy-cold stream near by. 

Partly owing to the fairy-like meadows that are to be 
found there, this mountain forest proved to be the most 
beautiful I had ever visited. The reaches of feathery bamboo, 
the giant fern-hung trees, the open glades covered with the 
purple veronica and tall lobelia — these alone repay a visit. 
Hunting in it, however, by reason of its steep declivities 
and thick undergrowth, is" excessively tedious as I very soon 
found out. If I was to get a chimpanzi it was going to be 
a tough job. 

The first day I drew a blank at all events, but had the 
satisfaction of hearing their calls for the first time. One 
call they make resembles that of the African hunting dog 
(lycaon) — or for those who do not know Africa, let us say 
a lost dog. It can be heard a long distance. The other 
cries are typical monkey noises, though louder, and are 
made when squabbling amongst themselves. 

The following day my luck, so far as the apes were con- 
cerned, was no better, although it led me to the discovery 

50 



1 



Lake Kivu 

of their sleeping-places, which were made on the spreading 
branches of high trees. These were platforms of bent and 
broken branches and may be considered as the first rudi- 
ments of our present-day gigantic structures in stone and 
iron. 

From information gained from my three guides (one of 
whom was a typical forest dwarf, more like a monkey than 
a man), and from my own observation, it was evident that 
there were no gorillas in this forest. The chimpanzi, or 
Impundu to give it its native name, was the only ape to 
be found here, as far as I could ascertain. 

Knowing now which direction to take, the following 
morning I again set out. After a walk of an hour or more 
along a small track, where the bushes were still wet with 
the heavy dew, we passed a trap set for a chimpanzi (con- 
sisting of a running noose, surrounding a circular hole in 
the ground), which looked as if we were on the right road. 
This proved to be the case, for very shortly afterwards we 
heard the tell-tale, long-drawn-out call, *' Woo-oo-oo-oo.'' 

Having been warned by the padres at the Mission con- 
cerning a superstition of the Batwa in connection with their 
totem of this man-ape, I was not surprised that two of my 
Batwa guides suddenly left me and disappeared round a 
neighbouring thicket. However, I had still one left and 
determined to hang to him. Advancing in the direction 
of the sounds we struck the spoor of two of the animals. 
Their tracks being easy to follow in the. soft loam, as well as 
being indicated by the broken bamboo shoots strewn on 
either side, we had little difficulty in coming up with them. 
But, alas for my hopes, I was discovered in the act of raising 
my rifle and Mr. Chimpanzi (the other I never saw) was off 

51 



The Eastern Congo 

into the thick brush-wood. I did, however, get a good 
look at him, which confirmed my opinion that this animal 
differed from the common variety. It struck me as being 
two or three times as large, of a reddish tinge, with thicker 
hair and a greyish fringe round the face. 

As it was getting late and rain threatening I now made 
the best of my way back to camp. On arrival there I found jgj 
a letter a\Y*aiting me from the Father-Superior of Njundo ' 
Mission, in answer to one of mine, telling me that " the best ; 
place to find both the gorilla and chimpanzi was in the forest 
near the Karisimbi volcano,'' some three days' farther north. 

On the receipt of this news and as both myself and the 
native collectors had worked the forest pretty thoroughly 
for new insects, I decided to strike camp. Meeting my wife ' 
at a pre-arranged rendezvous, we passed through the broken i 
and difficult country that here forms the eastern wall of I 
the Great Rift, and late in the afternoon we stood on a high y 
prominence above the Funda River, directly overlooking 
the Bay of Kisenji. The northern coast line of Lake Kivu, 
losing itself in its high western ramparts could only be dimly 
discerned, but on our right stood, definitely defined, the 
outlines of one of the little known wonders of the world, 
the three largest of the gigantic volcanoes which form the 
western portion of the great Virunga or Mfumbiro mountain 
range. 

After camping for the night we were abroad at an early 
hour the following morning. We hoped for another view 
of the volcanoes, which we had come so far to see, but this 
was not vouchsafed to us, for the valley below was veiled 
in mist and not a glimpse could be obtained of them. 

We made our way to the Njundo Mission, and arriving 

52 



Lake Kivu 

there at midday were again welcomed by these jovial priests. 

We were now at a most interesting stage of our journey, 
for this region, lying as it does midway between the Belgian 
and late German spheres, has a little-known fauna and flora, 
and much remains to be learnt concerning its topography ; 
the last British scientific expedition of any note to reach 
this district was the Tanganyika Expedition of twenty years 
ago, under Mr. J. E. S. Moore, resulting in the two publica- 
tions previously mentioned in this book. True, other 
travellers, like Sir Alfred Sharpe, have since passed through 
it but have written little or nothing concerning its more 
recent developments. Knowing this and although badly 
equipped for any pursuit other than that of entomology and 
photography, I was intensely interested in this region and 
determined to find out all I could about it in the time at 
my disposal. 

The panorama to be seen from Njundo Mission, although 
not to be compared in scenic effect with that obtained from 
Rwaza or Ruchuru, is, however, very interesting as it in- 
cludes the lake. The two great cones of Mikeno and Karisimbi, 
and Ninagongo with its shapely outline, being near to the 
spectator, stand out ominous and threatening. The cloud 
effects too, over the two active volcanoes of Ninagongo 
and Namlagira, are unsurpassable as seen from this 
Mission. 

We spent three pleasant days with the Fathers. To look 
out from their veranda across the vast amphitheatre of 
lava-plain to the ever-changing effects of light and shade 
on the volcanoes beyond, was a never-ending source of delight 
to both of us. Our friends the White Fathers entertained 
us with many tales of the district ; of the cruel doings of 

53 



The Eastern Congo 

the sultans of Ruanda, of the Great War and of pestilence 
and famine after it, when fifty thousand natives perished, 
of volcanic eruptions and earthquakes, of Kirschstein the 
German, and his attempt to scale Karisimbi, when thirty or 
more of his carriers were killed in a hail-storm ; of elephants, 
man-apes and lions and the mythical ** muga *' of the forest 
dwarfs, resembhng an enormous bear, of cattle and tsetse 
flies and the three-horned chameleon and hairy frogs. 

These lava-plains by Njundo, which are dotted with 
small extinct volcanoes, are covered with a shallow deposit 
of very rich soil, producing the finest tobacco. From this 
the Fathers make some really excellent cigars. The dried 
leaves can be bought from the natives at a hundred for one 
franc. This tobacco is very popular with the Watusi, who 
will smoke nothing else. It has, moreover, been well re- 
ported on in Europe as suitable for cigar wrappers. 

This same ground was disputed by the Germans and 
Belgians in the first years of the war, and both German and 
Belgian gun-positions may be frequently seen on the hills 
and craters round about. 

After war had passed, came a bad famine through which 
forty thousand natives lost their lives in this one district. 
Then the Spanish influenza attacked these hapless wretches, 
from which they were just recovering at the time of our 
visit. 

In connection with the war, the Fathers have a tragic 
but funny tale to tell. 

As may be guessed, iron is a valuable commodity amongst 
these aborigines, and as might be expected after frequent 
gun duels between the Germans and Belgians, there were 
numberless pieces of broken shell to be found by ardent 

54 



Lake Kivu 

searchers, and also unexploded live shells and shells dropped 
by scared porters in hurried flight. One such shell was one 
day unearthed by a wily Mhutu and after changing hands 
several times at varying prices, from a bunch of tobacco 
leaves to a goat, eventually found its way with other 
pieces of shell into the smelting-pot of a family of native 
blacksmiths. 

This big shell they judged would make many hoes, axes 
and spears, and the melting of it was made something of an 
occasion by the blacksmith, who asked several of his friends 
to give a hand with the bellows. Now the smelting-pot 
of the Bahutu is similar to a gigantic earthenware jar, the 
required heat being generated by blowing on the c^harcoal 
through a circle of holes in the bottom. Round this they 
sat and all being in readiness, the shell and old iron were 
placed in position and the fire started. The family and 
friends now joined in and the five or six small bellows were 
soon blowing merrily away — when, whizz — b-a-n-g ! 

The second week of September, 1919, found us at Kisenji 
and maturing plans for the exploration of the western and 
central groups of the Virunga volcanoes and their immediate 
neighbourhood. 

Kisenji, which I decided to make our headquarters, is 
in some ways the most beautiful and restful place I know, 
with just a touch about it reminiscent of the South Seas. 
Washed by the clear waters of Lake Kivu, buried in palms, 
gums, fruit-trees and flowers, it stands directly on the sandy 
foreshore, facing the blue mountains on the other side of 
the lake. The climate, owing to the high altitude of four 
thousand eight hundred feet above sea level, is perfect ; 
it is never too hot and never too cold. Mosquitoes too, and 

55 



The Eastern Congo 

wonderful to relate, white ants, are not to be found* 
here. 

At the time of our visit the Belgians were thinking of 
making Kisenji the administrative headquarters for the 
whole of Ruanda and Burundi. A large house had in fact 
been built for the Governor, but I think these plans have 
since been altered and Busumbura, on the north end of Lake 
Tanganyika, will become the capital. 

Before passing on to the next chapter, which contains 
details of the exploration of the volcanic region which I 
was about to undertake, it will be as well to give my reader 
some information regarding the Lake Kivu district from 
several points of view, both scientific and otherwise. 

With a length of approximately sixty-five miles and 
thirty in breadth. Lake Kivu, the last discovered of the 
African lakes has this salient feature : that although its 
waters now flow into Lake Tanganyika and so to the Congo 
River, its fauna has no community of nature with that of 
Tanganyika, but must be classed with that of Lakes Edward 
and Albert and the Nile system. 

To account for this, geologists tell us that at an earlier 
but not very remote period there was a water basin extending 
from Kivu north along the Rift valley as far as Lake Albert, 
and that the present formation of Kivu was brought about 
by a vast volcanic upheaval under the floor of this basin, 
forming the Ufumbiro or Virunga Range of volcanoes. This 

* This interesting fact is to be explained as due primarily to the volcanic 
nature of the country. There is no standing water where mosquito lavae may 
exist, the porosity of the soil carrying off all rain-water directly. The rivers, 
such as there are, are very swift, offering them no harbourage. The white ants 
are unable to find suitable soil, and owing to long continued volcanic dis- 
turbances in the neighbourhood, these pests have failed to find a footing, 

56 



Lake Kivu 

acting as a dam, the waters of the newly-formed Lake Kivu 
gradually rose as the years went by, eventually overflowing 
to the south into Lake Tanganyika. 

The second interesting feature of this wonderful district 
lies in the fact that Lake Kivu may be said to be the dividing 
line between the steppe region in the east and the forest 
region in the west ; hence we get primeval forests and grassy 
downs intermingled around its deeply indented coast and 
on its many islands. 

North and north-east of the lake lies the volcanic region, 
bounded on the south by the waters of Lake Kivu itself, 
on the north by the Ruchuru Plains, on the east by the 
riverine district of Kabare and on the west by the western 
wall of the great Rift valley. The steep sides of these grand 
volcanoes and the surrounding ridges and spurs are for the 
most part clothed in thick forests, some of them of bamboo 
and quite impenetrable in places, but the lava-plains below, 
and the numerous small hummock-like volcanoes are covered 
with grass, short scrub and herbage growing on a shallow 
deposit of scoriae overlying the solid lava. Owing to the 
lava flow, water is extremely scarce away from the few river 
beds : certainly in some places tiny lakes are formed in 
extinct craters, but these are far apart and not always on 
the line of march. 

The district may be said to be fairly rich in flowering 
plants (the Lobelia gibberroa being one of the commonest) 
and shrubs (including veronicas and balsams). At the 
higher elevations about ten thousand feet and upwards, 
on the volcanoes themselves, lobelias, senecios, ericaceae, 
everlasting-flowers and beard-moss occupy the landscape to 
to the exclusion of all else. 

57 



I 



The Eastern Congo 

Insect life is not over-abundant anywhere in close 
proximity to the volcanoes, but the Bugoie Forest is fairly 
rich entomologically. However, owing to the continual 
cold mists which rise from the lake and collect on the 
mountain forests, it is not so rich as one is led to expect from 
the wealth of plant life. 

Animal life in general, including the fish fauna, may be 
said to be nowhere over-abundant in the region of Lake 
Kivu. The crocodile, for instance, that terror of African 
waters, is entirely absent from the lake, so bathing can be 
indulged in with impunity, a great boon to all and sundry, i 

It will also come as a surprise to many that there are * 
now two hippos in the lake ; these came across for the first 
time, apparently from the Ruchuru River. i 

As no remarks on a district can be said to be complete 
without viewing it from an economic standpoint, I will say 
this much : that to simple souls it has all that this old world 
has to offer, excepting the social life and accessibihty from ' 
the outer world. When a railway reaches Lake Kivu, there 
will be a rush for it ; more's the pity ! 

Here amongst the polite and simple Belgians and the un- 
spoilt Watusi and Wahutu, is a great opportunity for the 
would-be settler (and his wife !). An, as yet, unknown 
paradise awaits him, where a man may still find happiness, ' r 
that " Pearl of Great Price." \ 

At present there is such an over-abundance of everything j ^, 
that living is ridiculously cheap. For thirty francs a month | 
the local chiefs will supply a man with all he wants of meat, ; 
milk, butter and vegetables. 

At the native markets can be obtained at absurdly cheap 
prices : beef, mutton, pork, chickens, fish, eggs, fruits and 

58 



Lake Kivu 

vegetables of all kinds, butter, milk, honey, coffee, wheat, 
rice, nuts, peas, beans, potatoes (European and sweet) tobacco 
(equal to Latakia), banana flour, oils and finely- worked mats 
and baskets. What more does man want ? 

A description of what the rich volcanic soil will grow 
would be merely a reiteration ; suffice it to say that most 
products will give double the return that they do anywhere 
else. 

The Bugoie cattle have comparatively small horns, and are 
the finest breed in the district, being larger, squarer and 
straighter than any other pure African race. The rich pasture 
to be found on the lava-plains has probably a good deal to 
do with this, and will also account for the quantity and rich- 
ness of the milk these cows produce, which amounts to often 
as much as six litres daily from one cow. 

Yearling bullocks can now be purchased at Kisenji for 
from eight to ten francs a head, heifers at twenty to thirty 
francs, sheep for five francs. The Ruanda cattle have this 
one disability that they will not travel well and neither will 
they live when exported. 

The Belgians tell me that plans are maturing to connect 
Lake Tanganyika with Kivu by a good motor road and so 
bring the Ruanda in touch with the market in the Katanga 
Copper Belt. 

It will be seen from the foregoing that young men desirous 
of carving out a place for themselves in Africa would do well 
to consult the Belgian Colonial Office, before they are led 
away by pretentious South or East African advertisements. 



59 



CHAPTER VI 

POPULAR AND CONTEMPORARY VULCANOLOGY IN ITS 
RELATION TO THE VIRUNGA VOLCANOES 

" Where cavernous chasms are yawning 
Through lands that are painfully new." 

A Riddle of Roads. Verse I. 

THE science of vulcanology, dealing as it does with 
the birth and death of worlds and the most stupendous 
force on earth, cannot but make an appeal to the 
imagination of most of us and to others, like myself, holds an 
irresistible fascination. I will therefore, before taking him 
to the realms of Vulcan, refresh my reader's memory with a 
short epitome on the subject in its bearing on the Virunga 
volcanoes. 

To the mind of most people when they first visit an active 
volcano — if they have not read up the subject beforehand — 
there will come a crowd of questions which may be embodied 
in the one query : '' Why is a volcano ? " and then like the 
usual reply to the question, " Why is the sea salt ? " the 
answer will be very indefinite and probably entirely 
wrong. 

The text-books tell us that a volcano is a more or les 
perfectly conical hill or mountain formed by the successiv 
accumulations of ejected matter in a state of incandesceno 
or high heat — its summit usually terminating in a bowl-like 
hollow called a crater. From the crater are ejected — some- 
times continuously, sometimes with long intervals of quiescence 
but always more or less explosively, gas, steam or water, 
dust, scoria (bits of natural slag) and molten rock (lava), 

60 



The Virunga Volcanoes 

The earth, being a live world and not a dead one, must 
breathe ; volcanoes may, therefore, also be described as the 
'* breathing places " of the globe, where the pent-up gases, 
formed beneath the world's crust, may escape. 

To go a little deeper into the subject, the earth* must 
be considered as a gradually cooling, and consequently con- 
tracting, spherical mass with a comparatively shallow outer 
crust of water-logged earth and stone, beyond which the 
interior is composed of either solid or molten rock. 

Now it is easy to understand that all cooling bodies 
contract. Therefore on this account, and also in part 
helped by the continual shifting of masses of the earth's 
surface by the action of water, pressure and strain f are set 
up resulting in crustal convulsions and earthquakes. The 
globe, therefore, on which we live, is continually altering, 
being raised up in some parts, whilst in others it subsides. 
Thus are the fissures and cross-fissures formed which, when 
reaching down to a lake or *' pocket '* of molten lava, become 
the pipes along which this lava may perhaps reach through 
to the surface. 

I say '' perhaps," for the fissure may be there and the 
molten lava at the bottom of it, but it won't spurt forth 
"on its own," so to speak. It must have some driving 
force behind it and obviously some agent which is strengthened 
by repression. This force is water, and steam (which is water 
vaporised). Likewise if the water is withdrawn from a volcano 
jit will cease to be active. 

* The earth is assumed to have been originally a burning incandescent 



n^'L 



^^^ t Isostasy : or the endeavour of a rotating body after distortion to assume 

^gj^ ^a form in which it is again in equilibrium ; has also been brought forward as 
potent factor in producing movements and fissures in the earth's crust. 

6i 



i 



The Eastern Congo 

Now, let us suppose that one of these earthquakes or 
earth contractions formed a fissure in the bed of the ocean 
or a lake (either a surface or subterranean one) and that the 
ramifications of this fissure connected up with a lake of red- 
hot lava. The result would be an explosion together with the 
formation of vast quantities of steam. We have now an 
embryo of an eruption and after this it needs very little 
effort of the imagination to follow the combined lava, water 
and steam under terrific pressure, in its efforts to escape along 
the line of least resistance. 

Thus we have the phenomena of volcanic eruptions. 

Perhaps not in all instances caused in exactly this manner, 

for it has been suggested that eruptions may be brought 

about by mere percolation of water on to the red-hot 

lava. 

It has been calculated, moreover, on the evidence of the 

fact that the average increase of temperature from the surface 

of the earth in a downward direction is approximately i°F. 

for every sixty feet, that the burning lava thrown out by an 

eruption comes up from a depth below ground of from twenty 

to thirty miles. 

Before going on to describe the Virunga volcanoes in 

particular it would be as well to state the fact that volcanoes 

are put into three classes, viz., active, dormant and extinct. 

An active volcano, as we all know, still continues at intervals 

to break into eruption. A dormant one, however, is one which 

after being quiescent for a long interval, as if its fires were 

extinct, suddenly breaks forth anew and is therefore the most 

to be feared. The third and last is the extinct volcano, 

which is one not known to have been in eruption since man 

has been upon the earth. 

62 






The Virunga Volcanoes 

The Virunga or Mfumbiro* volcanic mountain chain, as 
will be seen by an examination of the accompanying map, 
is divided into three groups. The most easterly consisting 
of three volcanoes — Sabinyo, Mgahinga and Muhavura. The 
central group of three more named respectively Karisimbi, 
Mikeno and Visoke, and the western, also the most active, 
composed of Ninagongo (a triple cone), Namlagira and three 
small cones of quite recent formation. 

Whereas the central group may be said to be quite 
extinct, this is by no means the case with the western end 
of the range, or, let it be said, with the eastern portion. In 
reference to the latter, the discovery made by the vulcanologist 
attached to the Duke of Mecklenburg's Expedition of 1907 
of the comparatively recent flow of lava from the Muhavura 
volcano, which displaced the theory that the oldest formed 
and most extinct volcanoes were to be found in the eastern 
group — is in part borne out by a report lately to hand and 
recently published in the journal of the Royal Geographical 
Society. The report says that in a small valley called Kim- 
bugu, a little to the north of the eastern group (viz., 29° 58' 
E. long, by 0° 58' S. lat.), a lake welled up during the night, 
having an area of about one hundred yards square, with a 
maximum depth of fourteen feet, where previously there had 
been neither a stream nor a pool. There was a collection 
of native huts in the valley, and although the water did not 
touch these, thirty-two people were found dead in them in 

* Regarding the name Mfumbiro, I must say that I never heard it used 
by any native. Virunga was the name always used when any member of my 
" safari " referred to the volcanoes. 

Note by Sir Harry Johnston : " Umu-fumbiro in Luganda and perhaps 
Runyoro means ' a cooking pot,' and was the term applied to this region by 
the Baganda in conversation with Speke. Captain Speke was the first white 
man to see and report these volcanoes in i86i. — H. H. J." 

63 



The Eastern Congo 



the morning, from noxious fumes given off by the 
flood. 

For the benefit of vulcanologists and others, and before 
describing my journeys through the western and central 
groups, I will give a descriptive account of each volcano 
separately and some data concerning the most recent and 
important volcanic disturbances so far as these are known. 

To take the latter first, we will begin with the three small 
newly formed volcanoes : — 

(a) A low active cone without crater, formed by 
explosive eruption three miles to the north of Mbusi 
Bay (Kabino Inlet) and south-west of Namlagira volcano, 
in May, 1904. 

(6) A smaller but higher active cone, the so-called 
Kanamaharage volcano, with crater, formed by ex- 
plosive eruption in an opposite direction to the last 
named, at the eastern foot of Namlagira volcano in 
July, 1905. 

(c) A hill-like active cone, similar to (b) ; the so- 
called Kiverunga volcano, formed by explosive eruption 
close to the first named (a) cone, in December, 1912. 

(d) The formation of a small lake in a valley named 
Kimbugu, to the north-east of the Sabinyo volcano, in 
June, 1920, giving off mephitic fumes. There was no 
eruption of lava. 

Then, in a class by themselves, come the eruptions of 
more or less severity of the Namlagira volcano, the most 
active cone of the entire group, which occurred between the 
years 1907 and 1910. This volcano is still (1920) remarkably 
active. 

No eruption of the second largest active crater of Nina- 

64 



The Virunga Volcanoes 

gongo is on record, but when visited in the year 1894 by 
Count Gotzen, it was described by him as in full activity. 

With reference to the foregoing data it is interesting to 
note that the missionaries at Bobandana and Njundo, at the 
north end of Lake Kivu, put the cycle of severe eruptions 
at eight or nine years. As earth tremors have become fre- 
quent of late in the neighbourhood and as the volcano of 
Ninagongo is now reported (June, 1920) to have returned to 
unwonted activity, another eruption is perhaps imminent. 

The north-west corner of Lake Kivu and the country 
directly north of it, which lies in the shadow of the western 
wall of the Great Rift, being in close proximity to the volcanic 
outbursts of 1904 and 1913, are of considerable interest. 

The last eruption in this region which began about 

December 8th, 1912, and lasted well into April, 1913, was 

; of a severe description. The red-hot lava flowing down into 

' the lake towards the point of the Mbusi Peninsula, at first 

completely filled up an extensive lagoon there and thence 

flowing onwards has all but sealed up the channel into the 

Mbusi Bay. Until quite recently these new lava beds were 

too hot to walk upon and even now are still moving or rather 

subsiding. The vicinity of the channel is always covered 

i 1 with flecks of foam, telling of the heat beneath. Geysers 

1^ ^ also are frequently seen in this part of the lake. 

At the time of the eruption many natives were killed, 
J ] being suffocated by fumes or their boats cracked and burnt 
551 (by the heat in their efforts to retrieve the dead fish, which 
tl (lay scattered about on the water in great numbers. Others 
fj^^ \ died from starvation owing to the destruction of their crops, 
[Whilst others again, refusing to leave their villages, were 
jl } overwhelmed as they crouched within their huts. 

65 F 



The Eastern Congo 

Sir Alfred Sharpe has a tale to tell about this in his account 
of the eruption, in the Field of December, 1913. He speaks 
of the convulsion in the following terms : — 

'* Its site was previously flat ground covered with grass 
and stunted trees. ... It began with an earthquake and 
immediately afterwards smoke was seen issuing from great 
rents in the ground. This was followed by fire and explosions, 
and twenty-four hours later a full-fledged crater was pouring 
out a column of fire, ash and lava. A broad river of swiftly 
flowing lava poured into the Kabino inlet at the north-west 
corner of Lake Kivu, three miles from the volcano, and had 
already heated the water of that part of the lake to boiling 
point. 

" When crossing the lake, occasionally whirlwinds of steam 
would form and stretch upwards for three hundred or four 
hundred feet, like waterspouts. What with the roar of the 
volcano, occasional deafening explosions, the vast columns 
of steam and smoke, and the lurid gloom all around, it was a 
striking scene. For miles in every direction the country 
was black ; there was not a green leaf or blade of grass to be 
seen. We found many birds and small mammals, killed by 
falling stones, some of which measured two inches in diameter. 
We did not sleep that night. We had several sharp earth- 
quake shocks, a hurricane of wind raged with appalling 
lightning, our tents were nearly blown away and for two houn 
a heavy fall of ash and stones threatened to bury our sma] 
camp. The roar from the volcano was incessant — a stead] 
deafening roar ; the whole country below us was lit up b] 
the column of fire, lava and red-hot stones, which were she 
up thousands of feet. 

" Some idea of the fierceness of this outbreak while i 

66 




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top of crater to the crater-floor is about 650 feet. 



The Virunga Volcanoes 

lasted may be gathered from the fact that at the post of 
Wahkah, in the Congo forests, one hundred miles to the west, 
ashes fell heavily for two days, while the eruption was heaid 
at Beni, one hundred and forty miles to the north, and at 
Bukoba, on the Victoria Nyanza, one hundred and ninety 
miles east." 

With this description of the most recent eruption in the 
Virunga Mountains, we will pass on to the eight volcanoes 
themselves, composing this range. 

NiNAGONGO or Niragongo — although by no means the 
highest, as it only reaches an altitude of 11,300 feet, 
is nevertheless the most famous of these, by reason of 
its imposing position close to Lake Kivu and its symmetrical 
form. It may, indeed, be termed classical, so much 
is it held in superstitious dread by the inhabitants of the 
surrounding districts as being the abode of evil spirits, 
and so much does it enter into their life and history. The 
first ascent of this cone was made by Count Gotzen in 1894, 
and since then it has been climbed by Mr. J. E. S. Moore, 
the Duke of Mecklenburg, and many others. It may be 
described as a perfectly symmetrical truncated cone, over- 
shadowing two elevated subsidiary extinct craters on its 
north and south sides. Both the subsidiary cones are quite 
perfect, the one to the north, which contains a crater-lake, being 
9,480 feet above sea level, and the one to the south, which 
has a grass-covered dry lava bottom, 9,255 feet. The whole 
pile is forest and bush clad to within one thousand feet of 
its summit, the last five hundred feet being bare iron-like lava. 
The crater, which appears to be perfectly round, I calculated 
approaches one mile in diameter and its vertical sides six 
hundred and fifty feet deep — with an oval eruptive vent of 

67 



The Eastern Congo 

some eight hundred and fifty yards in breadth at its longest 
diameter, and situated directly in the centre of a flat crater- 
floor of fine lapilli and yellow ash. The fumaroles consist of 
semi-circular cracks or fissures running parallel to the hp of the 
vent, and giving the impression that the crater-floor is under- 
mined from below and will collapse one day into the eruptive 
shaft itself, as has previously occurred. The fumaroles 
continually give forth a thick white vapour and the shaft a 
yellowish smoke. No glow is perceptible from this volcano 
at night. 

Namlagira — which is 10,046 feet above sea level, and 
the foot of which adjoins that of Ninagongo, as seen from the 
south-east or east, is indistinguishable from a broad, flat- 
topped mountain except for the huge column of white smoke 
that it continually puts forth from the eastern end of its 
vast crater. This terraced crater, which is said to be one and 
a half miles across, has the ruins of an old and former crater 
projecting towards its centre from the east side, forming a 
kind of core to the present one. There are numerous active 
parasitic craters on the southern side. Both the southern 
and eastern slopes are composed of congealed rivers of lava 
which have piled themselves one against another in their 
course, fold upon fold of lava being interspersed by bands 
and lines of forest and brushwood which reach nearly to the 
summit. At night, this volcano, which is the most active 
in the entire range, presents a magnificent sight as it reflects 
a bright and steady glow on its own column of smoke and on 
any clouds that may have formed within its radius. 

Karisimbi — this extinct volcano is the highest in the 
Virunga range, as its beautifully modelled peak reaches an 
altitude of 14,780 feet above sea level. It has two craters, 

68 




CE. The Double Eruptive Shaft of Ninagongo, 19 lo. 




CI, The Eruptive Shaft as it is to-day (1920), approxi- 
mately 850 yards broad at its largest diameter. 




d. The extinct Volcano of Karisimbi from the north-west. 



^^^tX ^^^ 




C The active Volcano of Ninagongo from the south-west 
and its southern subsidiary crater. The Author's 
porters adjusting their loads in the foreground. 



The Virunga Volcanoes 

one lying directly under the south side of the peak, the other 
a crater of large dimensions but almost unrecognisable as 
^uch, forming a flat-topped swampy ridge or plateau running 
out in an easterly direction. The large crater is now over- 
grown with swamp-grass and reeds, amongst which stand 
several small lakes. The summit of the peak has weathered 
into numerous ridges and channels in which snow may be seen 
to have lodged overnight, giving a beautiful pink and white 
umbrella effect in the early morning. The name Karisimbi 
has some relation to this white covering of snow. The peak is 
scarcely ever visible except in the very early hours, owing to the 
continual mists that surround it. Whether the actual top of 
the peak itself has ever been reached by an explorer is a matter 
of doubt. Up to the last five hundred feet, which is very 
steep, this volcano, similarly with all the others, is clothed in 
vegetation of more or less luxuriance. 

MiKENO — which name is translated by some as meaning 
*' Two Teeth,''* from the two teeth-like spurs on its crest and 
by others as meaning " The place of poverty," is connected 
with Karisimbi by a high ridge or saddle, and as it 
reaches an altitude of 14,600 feet, is the second highest 
volcano in the range. The peak, which is usually snow- 
capped in the morning hours, has never been scaled. The 
aspect of this extinct volcano, which somewhat resembles 
the Puy de Dome of Auvergne in France, differs from the usual 
owing to its special formation. In this case the molten lava, 
instead of being blown up explosively, has been steadily 
pushed up, which accounts for its resemblance to just a high 
and rocky mountain. It has no crater, but the central peak 
would appear to be a core or '' neck " pushed up from the 

* This is not the meaning. — H. H. J. 

69 



The Eastern Congo 



centre after the surrounding lava had cooled, and thus forming 
the broad ledge below the summit which is such a noticeable 
feature when the volcano is viewed from the south. At its 
foot, on the west side, are two parasitic craters, in one of 
which a pretty crater-lake is situated. 

VisoKE, Kisasa or Bisoko, the third and smallest of the 
central group, reaches an altitude of 12,450 feet and has a 
large and well-formed extinct summit crater. On one side 
there is a small pool which is popularly supposed by th 
natives to assure a plentiful increase to any cattle drinkin 
there. The name Kisasa has been given to this pool and i 
now generally used by the inhabitants when referring to the 
volcano itself. 

Sabinyo — meaning '* Five Teeth ** in the native language,* 
and so named from the five spurs that form its serrated crest 
— is a craterless extinct volcano, elongated in form and, as it 
reaches an altitude of 11,960 feet, is the second highest of 
the eastern group. Its formation is said to be similar to 
that of Mikeno and is not to be considered as the ruins of an 
ancient crater but standing now as it was originally formed. 
Together with the last named volcano it is the most ancient 
in the entire range. 

Mgahinga, 11,253 feet high, is a low, truncated, extinct 
volcano, symmetrically shaped, with a well formed crater, 
but otherwise of no great interest. 

MuHAVURA, which may be called a dormant volcano, 
has an altitude of 13,547 f^^t above sea level ; it is the third 
highest of the whole range and also the most easterly. It 

♦ These meanings attributed to the volcanoes' names are wrong : " Five 
Teeth " in the local language of this distnct would be " Amenyo amatano." 
It is quite possible that some of the volcano names antedate the Bantu occupation 
of the country. — H. H. J. 

70 



a 

I 



The Virunga Volcanoes 

has the remains of a small crater under and to the east of the 
peak, which has formed itself into a bog, and, contrary to 
preconceived ideas, bears every evidence of having erupted 
in the nineteenth century, so disproving the theory of the 
relative activity of the range as passing from east to west. 
The name Muhavura is translated as meaning the " Land- 
mark,'' on account of its outstanding position at the end of 
the range and its consequent use as a guide to travellers. 
It is also the sacred mountain of Ruanda, where the good 
fairies are supposed to dwell, the antithesis of Ninagonga 
to the west. 

To close this chapter let me add that one is rather aston- 
I ished to find that there is so little mention of the Virunga 
volcanic region either in the letterpress or illustrations of 
English works on vulcanology. Yet this region, as well as 
the whole of the Great Rift valley, extending as it does right 
into and beyond the Red Sea, *' a line of weakness " in the 
earth's crust — should be teeming with interest for the vul- 
canologist. It is, moreover, broken into and dammed across 
by one of the most recent (geologically speaking) volcanic 
upheavals, and farther inland than any other volcanic region 
of like magnitude. Little is known of this region at present, 
not only of its vulcanology but also of its fauna and flora. 
I have every hope therefore that these notes, though lacking 
in scientific exactness as they must inevitably be, will prove, 
with the illustrations, of interest to many, and may even, 
with very little stretch of the imagination, one day prove of 
use to the aeroplane-tourist of the not very distant future 
as he passes on his way from the Cape to Cairo. 



71 



CHAPTER VII 

EXPLORATION AND GORILLA HUNTING AMONGST THE 
VOLCANOES OF THE VIRUNGA MOUNTAINS 

Shadows of delicate dawning are creeping beneath the trees, 
Mystical murmurs of morning are floating upon the breeze — 
There's joy in the City's clamour — pageants of pleasure, and glamour. 
But nevertheless, my ir asters, there are worthier things than these ! " 

The Out-station. Verse I, 

LET me put it on record that the treatment accorded 
our tiny expedition during its five weeks' work in 
the Kisenji district was all and more that could be 
desired. And this at a time when our English papers and the 
powers-that-be were slanging the Belgians right and left for 
hanging on to the Ruanda and Burundi, for which they had 
fought and won. Our kind friend Monsieur Verhulst, Chef 
de Poste of Kisenji, went so far as offering to feed us free of 
charge, whilst the genial Commandant Hollants, of Saisi 
fame, not to mention Lieut. Lecoque of the Soke fight, were 
kindness itself from the very first. Our sojourn therefore 
in this delightful spot proved to be a very happy one. 

Soon after our arrival we had speedily made ourselves 
at home in one of the lava-built houses to be found there, 
and almost immediately I set about the task of making pre- 
parations for the ascent of Ninagongo, which stood beckoningly 
on the northern horizon. 

As Commandant Hollants decided to join me in the venture, 
good porters were soon forthcoming, and we left Kisenji well 
equipped on September 19th, to take the track that leads the 
traveller by devious lava-strewn ways to a small rest-house 

72 



Gorilla Hunting 

or gUe called Kibati, distant about two miles from the foot 
of the famous volcano. Here we found it necessary to wait 
one day to arrange for a supply of food and water for our 
carriers, and also to obtain guides. Water is a scarce com- 
modity in all such extensive lava-fields as that in which 
Kibati is situated, owing to the porous nature of the lava- 
bed. The natives in the vicinity are in the habit of using 
bent banana leaves to catch rain water, otherwise they would 
have to visit the lake daily, a distance of eleven miles, for 
their supplies. 

Kibati, which stands close to the boundary, and over- 
looking what once was German territory, is in a way note- 
worthy, for from this place General Tombeur started his 
campaign against the Germans. As range upon range of 
inhospitable mountains confront the spectator, one can well 
imagine the stout heart of the Belgian commander failing 
him at such a prospect. Here too, in the little cemetery, 
many Belgians sleep well amongst the geraniums, telling 
the tale of the first clash of conflict. 

The following morning there was again a delay of several 
hours for more water, some of our carriers having to go all 
the way to the lake to obtain it ; thus the morning was well 
advanced before we eventually got off. At length, however, 
we moved forward to our goal and soon found ourselves 
entering the tangled growth of the foot-hills and breasting 
the outer bastions of the great pile, thick with tropical fohage. 
Very soon the track steepened to a stiff climb, for the most 
part along old elephant paths, evidences of which could be seen 
on either hand in the shape of upturned trees and broken 
branches. After three hours' steady climbing, the first signs 
of a change in the vegetation were to be discerned, shrub-hke 

73 



The Eastern Congo 

growths, intermixed with small heather bushes [EricacecB) 
taking the place of the tall fern-hung forest trees. This 
giant heather became more frequent and sturdier the higher 
we ascended and, together with senecios and a few other 
growths, presently entirely replaced the lower vegetation 
excepting the mosses and ground plants. 

It now being late in the afternoon and having reached a 
mossy ledge bordering the barren lava summit, we pitched 
our tents, both ourselves and the porters setting about the 
job of making all snug against a cold night. 

The ascent of this volcano is not difficult in fine weather, 
but as heavy mists, storms, and blizzards are frequent and 
sudden, there is the danger that some of one's porters might _ 
succumb to exposure and cold, or the possibility that on( 
might get lost oneself in a thick mist. To accentuate th< 
fact, a violent thunderstorm drifted over our little cam] 
shortly before sundown without warning and coming fro] 
nowhere in particular. For fully half an hour a deluge oi 
icy rain beat upon us, bringing the thermometer with 
bound down to freezing point, our breath showing up whit( 
even in our tents. The storm dropped away, however, 
suddenly as it came, leaving a clear, star-lit sky, cut acroj 
by the gleaming dome of the Ninagongo crater close abov( 
us and giving the promise of a fine night. This passed unj 
eventfully, the stillness however, being broken by seven 
terrific '' hee-haws '' from Commandant Hollant's donkey 
intervals in the course of the night, and a few answering 
moans from an old lion far away in the forest below. 

Rising at 4.30 the following morning, and after partaking 
of some hot wine (sweetened and spiced, this is an ideal 
stimulant on such occasions) and sandwiches, we dug out a 

74 



d 



Gorilla Hunting 

few stiffened porters from their beds of heather and started 
to mount the last thousand feet that separated us from the 
summit, carrying a box of food, a bundle of wood, the cameras 
and collecting outfit, a rifle and a bottle of brandy. 

Half an hour's climbing brought us out on the bare lava 
where the vegetation practically ceases, enabling us to 
appreciate the splendid spectacle of the sun about to rise 
behind the clear-cut peaks of Karisimbi and Mikeno. Although 
the bases of these giants were swathed in empurpled mist, 
their snow-sprinkled summits stood out finely in the rosy 
dawn without a cloud to mar their beauty — save only as an 
added charm a pink umbrella of vapour, a misty halo, that 
lay just resting above the tip of Karisimbi. Then, too, 
as if Dame Nature had said : *' I have something to show you, 
just this once," the moon in its last quarter and Venus, the 
Morning Star, hung close together above the fairy scene. 
Enchanted scenery, as it might be, from some other world. 

Another world too greeted our gaze as, after reaching 
the summit, we peered over the edge and into the Ninagongo 
crater. For there, six or seven hundred feet sheer below, 
lay a vast and steaming pit, a world of Titans and unknown 
forces at work in the bowels of the earth, beside which one 
feels a puny atom. The crater, the crater-floor and the 
oval eruptive shaft might have been laid out by some master- 
builder, so symmetrical do they appear to be. The crater- 
floor, which approximates a mile in diameter, is perfectly flat 
and seems to be covered with yellow sand, but which in 
reality is pulverized lava. In the centre of this is the immense 
smoking vent, or eruptive shaft, surrounded by semi-circular 
cracks, running parallel to its edge, and which emit a heavy 
white vapour, the smoke from the vent itself being pale yellow^ 

75 



The Eastern Congo 

in colour. The only noise I heard during the six hours spent 
on the summit was a seething sound from the shaft as of 
boiling lava. The vapour and smoke from the volcano are 
in no way mephitic, as swifts were to be observed circling 
around within the crater itself, even as though there were 
insects to be caught there. I myself took one butterfly, an 
Acrceidy and also observed a large species of Hesperid flying 
past, right on the lip of the crater. The acid sulphur fumes 
were just noticeable, but were rather pleasant than otherwise. 

Having taken my fill, not only of the enthralling sight 
of the great crater beside me, but also of the extensive pano- ^ 
rama below me of forest, lake and crater, I proceeded to 
photograph and film all that I considered worth while. 
Ninagongo itself first occupied my attention and after 
Karisimbi and Mikeno, its subsidiary southern crater, as a 
good bird's-eye view of its forest-clad mouth was obtainable 
from where I stood. 

The fact that a column of vapour appeared to be issuing 
from the eastern end of this supposed extinct volcano and 
the otherwise interesting look of its grass-covered crater- 
floor, aroused the curiosity of both Commandant HoUants and 
myself so much that we determined to put our camp there 
that night. Therefore, after a prolonged study of the north 
end of Lake Kivu, we descended and striking camp, soon 
found ourselves clambering down the steep cliffs that form 
the crater-ring and which we had seen from above. 

The vegetation we passed through before reaching the 
open crater-floor was the weirdest and most fantastic I have 
ever seen, composed as it was, almost entirely, of bright 
green yellow-flowered senecios, overhung by festoons of grey- 
green beard-moss which grew on every small tree and bush. 

76 




d. The Author on the hp of the Nmagongo Crater. 
The vast chasm of the eruptive shaft can be 
discerned within the smoking crater to the left. 




d. Commandant Hollants' and the Author's Camp on the 
''floor " of the southern subsidiary crater of Ninagongo. 
Ninagongo itself is just discernible in the mists above. 







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The circle of the crater-floor on which we camped was a good 
half-mile in diameter. It was covered with short grass inter- 
spersed with giant lobelias growing over a perfectly uniform 
and flat crust of iron-like lava, with a surface resembling 
ironstone. Completely surrounding us stood the circle of 
cliffs composing the sides of the crater-mouth and we felt 
to be, as we probably were, the first white men to camp down 
in such an unique spot as the depth of an unbroken crater. 

In the afternoon, and again the following morning, I set 
myself the task of trying to find the cause of the column of 
vapour we had seen from above, but nothing could I dis- 
cover amidst the tangled growths from which it had appeared 
to issue. 

After this, and owing to the fact that the water supply 
for ourselves and our natives had now run out, there was 
nothing for it but to make the best of our way back to Kisenji. 
This we accordingly did and so pleasantly ending one of those 
unforgettable experiences that go to even up the hard knocks 
that Africa so frequently deals out. 

After paying a short visit to Goma on the lake shore, 
a few miles north of Kisenji, and examining the interesting 
volcanic features to be seen there, I began to make ready for 
a longer trip which was to include the exploration of the 
volcanoes of Mikeno, Karisimbi and Visoke, where I hoped 
to discover new insects and perhaps meet with the gorilla. 

All was again ready for this second excursion by the 
morning of September 27th, so again regretfully saying farewell 
to my wife I set out, accompanied only by my Wahutu 
carriers. On this trip I made the fatal mistake of leaving 
without an adequate supply of food, and relying, as I did, on 
obtaining sufficient from local chiefs it nearly cost me dear. 



The Eastern Congo 1 



The situation was saved later by the expedient of sending 
back half my porters to buy food at the Kisenji market at the 
cost of considerable delay. 

Unless money is no object, and the man can afford to pay 
unlimitedly, the three essentials that go to make the successful 
African explorer are patience, perseverance, and a strong- 
mindedness ; without them the would-be traveller had better 
not leave the beaten track. This present " safari '' of mine 
nearly " failed to meet the test,'' for, to begin with, a steady 
downpour of rain commenced which continued to beat upon 
us for the best part of ten days, making the carriers dis- 
gruntled and the ground soggy and slippery. After scarcity 
of food, useless guides were my next trouble. From the 
first day I had my doubts about them, which were soon 
confirmed by their glaring (or wilful) lack of knowledge of 
any part of the district. Mere bluffers they were, so I cleared 
them out and engaged two others, who assured me they knew 
the volcanoes well and that they in fact Uved in the bamboo 
zone on the sides of Karisimbi. 

In spite of the sun being continually obscured by the 
lowering clouds and for the time being all sense of direction 
gone, I had every faith in my new guides and their ability 
to lead me to the point I wished to make. I therefore kept 
to their course which, after floundering through many miles of 
wet forest and along muddy cattle-tracks that intersected 
it in all directions, eventually brought us to a wonderful little 
crater-lake, tucked away into the riven foot of Mikeno on its 
western flank. This appeared to me to be a serviceable 
place from which to begin the ascent of the two giant vol- 
canoes that now towered into the clouds above us, and more- 
over my boots being wet through, with rain still falling and 

78 





O, The Volcano of Mikeno and the Gorilla Forest, 
where the Author made his Camp. The Trees 
are the Hagenias described in the next Chapter. 




CI, A Forest of Senecios and Beard-moss within 
the subsidiary crater of Ninagongo, and 
from which the column of vapour described 
by the Author was seen to be issuing. 



Gorilla Hunting 

the air bitterly cold, I was more than pleased to get the camp 
fixed up. For this purpose I chose a flat ledge close by, 
which commanded an extensive view across the valley of the 
Ninagongo massif and the glowing crater of Namlagira. 
This camping place, from a scenic point of view, would be hard 
to beat but it had its disadvantages, for apart from being 
very cold, the elevation being seven thousand feet, it was 
overgrown with stinging-nettles of a very poisonous variety* 
beside which our own homely species pales into insignificance. 
As the place proved to be a very good one for moths, which 
in spite of rain and cold came to my gasoline lamp moth-trap 
in considerable numbers, these tall nettles gave me a lively 
time, for on more than one occasion I happened to beat up 
against them in my chase after passing insects. There can 
be little doubt that on these occasions my porters put me down 
as a maniac, for both the language I used and the figure I cut 
(a semi-war-dance accompanied by a waving butterfly-net), 
must have been appalling. 

Two days were required by my men in which to secure 
suflicient supplies of food to carry them over the next week, 
the time passing very monotonously for me in the damp and 
rain-soaked camp, mitigated solely by a few hours' sunshine. 

Taking advantage of this, I paid another visit to the 
crater-lake, which is the only permanent water supply for 
man or beast within a radius of many miles. This extinct 
parasitic crater, seen in the sunshine, is the most beautiful 
spot that can well be imagined. Shaped like a horse-shoe, 
with steep sides gouged out of the base of its giant host, 
its novelty is enhanced by a narrow breach in its western 
front, caused by the overflowing crater-lake, and forming a 

* Evidently like those on the Kenya volcano, British East Africa. — H. H. J. 

79 



The Eastern Congo 



kind of gateway on to the original crater-floor where lies a 
circular shallow pool some hundred yards in diameter. As 
verdure of all shades surmounts the encirling walls of this 
miniature lake right down to the water's edge, where red, 
white and black cattle are to be seen standing at ease and 
mirrored in its depth — the scene is worth more than this poor 
pen-picture : is indeed worthy the canvas of a great painter. 

From my guide I now began to hear tales of the gorillas, 
the Ngege as the natives call them hereabouts ; in fact six 
weeks ago two brothers named Foster had shot two, and 
caught a young one, in the bamboo forest higher up on Mikeno, 
directly above this small pool. From my guide's description 
and judging by the fact that he was able to differentiate 
between what he called the Impundu (the chimpanzi) and 
the Ngege (the gorilla), it was evident I was within measurable 
distance of seeing and perhaps shooting a specimen of this 
animal : the largest species of man-ape that walks the earth 
to-day. 

What with rain and cold, bad and grumbling porters, 
lack of food and suitable guides, I had begun to wonder if 
the climbing of these volcanoes was worth the candle, but 
the news concerning the gorillas and the arrival of a quantity 
of food putting everyone in a good humour, things took a turn 
for the better, and I decided to start for the higher regions 
on the following morning. This was the seventh day out 
from Kisenji and it broke fine and sunny, showing up the 
magnificent scenery that had been hidden for so long and leav- 
ing the twin peaks above us, clear, snow-capped and gloriously 
beautiful. So with the sunshine our troubles were forgotten, 
each man shouldering his load with a light heart and full 
tummy, and stepping out with a will for gorilla land. 

80 



Gorilla Hunting 



The '* saddle " that connects the two volcanoes of Mikeno 
and Karisimbi approximates an elevation of ten thousand 
five hundred feet, and, as water is obtainable in some small 
bogs that exist there, I decided to reach this and make it my 
camping place for the further exploration of this part of the 
range. 

As the " safari " mounted to this ridge, evidences of 
elephant and buffalo became more frequent, and the bamboo 
and other tropical foliage more dense. However on approach- 
ing the top, the hardy traveller will reach a definitely marked 
zone beyond which the bamboo apparently will not grow, 
and he will be delighted to find himself amidst open forest 
scenery that can only be described as elysian. This unique 
forest, which is little more than two miles square, is composed 
almost entirely of old and knotted hagenia trees (resembling 
the European sumach) on the gnarled stems and branches of 
which are to be seen massive pads of dark green moss. Ha- 
genia trees growing elsewhere never attain a thickness of trunk 
jmuch greater than two feet, but here their growth for some 
Unexplained reason has become abnormal, many of their 
fed arched and buttressed trunks assuming giant proportions 
j three times this measurement. Judging by the rubbed and 
jnarked appearance of many of them, they are greatly favoured 
!)y the buffaloes for rubbing their horns and hides against, 
idso on occasions the shelters afforded by their overhanging 
runks are used by gorillas. 

These trees do not grow thickly together but form an 

^pen forest, interspersed with small glades of tree veronicas 

^d lobelias, the black loam beneath being covered with 

Succulent fennels, docks and sorrels and other species of 

quatic-looking plants that snap to the tread ; the sorrels, 

8i G 



f 



The Eastern Congo 

witL grass and bamboo leaves, form the favourite food of the 
gorillas. 

It was on the edge of this hagenia zone that, for the 
first time in my life, it fell to my lot to find and examine 
the freshly made sleeping-place of a solitary " old-man " 
gorilla. As I obtained a very good photograph of this, which 
will be found reproduced on the opposite page, it is unnecessary 
to describe it in detail ; suffice it to say that it consisted of 
a fair-sized hole scooped in the ground, and filled in with 
leaves and bamboo branches bent down for the purpose. 

Shortly after passing this place we entered the patch 
of open forest that I have previously described, and finding a 
suitable camping place near a water-hole, we cleared, with 
considerable difficulty, a patch free from the thick growth of 
Alpine foliage. I then put up the two tents I had with me, 
one for myself, the other as a kitchen and boys' tent, the 
porters meanwhile selecting a huge overhanging creeper- 
covered hagenia stem for their quarters, which would afford 
considerable protection against inclement weather. 

When I left my damp and cold camp the following morning 
for a still wetter and colder forest, I had little hope of bagging 
a gorilla, one of the rarest and most interesting animals that 
may fall to the hunter's rifle, the mere name of which had often 
hrilled my younger days and around which there still hangs 
something primeval, like the forests from which they come 
Such luck seemed too good to come true, but this time how- 
ever my luck was in, a recompense for having '* stuck it out.* 
" It's dogged as does it," is a good motto ! 

Now, it is perhaps not generally known that gorilla: 
are fond of bending over long bamboos to make a kind o\ 
low platform upon which to sun themselves and from whicl 

82 



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08 



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CO o 

is 




H, The Head and Shoulders of a Kivu Gorilla. 



Gorilla Hunting 

to pluck and chew the tender leaves. Thus engaged was the 
first gorilla I encountered. My Mhutu guide and myself 
had been going carefully along through the dew-drenched 
forest, when we were attracted by what sounded like a cough 
and a breaking branch a considerable distance in advance 
of our position. This the native assured me came from the 
animals we sought, but quite how he could distinguish the 
sounds from those made by a buffalo I am at a loss to under- 
stand ; however he was right, for after gingerly picking our 
way ahead for a short distance, we disturbed one of these 
hairy giants taking an early morning sun-bath on his platform. 
He was however too quick for us, for either sensing danger or 
having seen us, he made one great leap off his perch, accom- 
panied by a screaming roar, and was immediately lost to 
view behind the thick screen of bamboos. The set of the wind 
being in our favour we stood stock still where we were, it 
being evident that the big ape could not have smelt us and 
therefore had simply leaped to the ground, and was in all 
likelihood standing and listening for intruders just where 
he landed after his jump. Owing to the dense nature of the 
bamboo forest in which we were, the incident just described 
occurred at close quarters and I was now standing, as I 
guessed, within twenty paces of my quarry — there being only 
a tiny glade separating me from the bank of bamboo into 
which he had disappeared. These surmises proved correct 
for suddenly there broke forth from the opposite thicket the 
weirdest '* devil's tattoo " that can be imagined ; it started 
with an indrawn whine, which quickly increased in volume 
until it broke out into a hoarse grunt, accompanied by a heavy 
resonant clopp — clopp — clopp. I had of course heard of 
both the gorilla and orang-utan beating their chests to frighten 

83 



The Eastern Congo 

away an intruder, but when I first listened to this extraordinary 
*' clopping '* noise, I scarcely realised that it was being made 
by the great ape beating his chest. However on thinking 
the matter over afterwards it was evident that it was pro- 
duced in this way. 

Judging it advisable to allay any suspicions in the animal's 
mind of our continued presence so close to him, we breathlessly 
waited a considerable time, in the hope that he would move 
out of the position in which he had entrenched himself. 
This the gorilla would not do however, but continued at 
intervals to gibber and beat his chest, accompanying this 
by stamping and shaking the bamboos. 

Hearing these angry danger signals and the heavy thud 
of its stamping, one instinctively realised that one was con- 
fronted with a large and formidable animal, not a mere monkey, 
and my mind flashed back to the thick and tough trees that 
I had seen away back, broken and bent to pieces like match- 
wood and how it would be with my arm or neck if it got 
either in its grip. However " Faint heart ne'er won fair 
lady " or anything else, so after giving my friend Tarzan a 
quarter of an hour to come out, what time we had been loudly 
sworn at by the enemy, I decided to accept the challenge 
and carry the war into the enemy's stronghold by going in 
after him. Therefore, followed by my guide, who was armed 
with a useful looking spear, I crossed the glade and going 
down on all fours crawled into the bamboo thicket rifle in 
hand. But it was no go this time, for on my advancing a 
few yards, he heard me and shaking us both up with another 
of his uncanny roars, crashed away into the forest. Having 
followed the spoor for a short distance, it became apparent 
by breaking branches and other noises, that there were quite 

84 



Gorilla Hunting 



a number of gorillas right close at hand, so I decided to abandon 
a frontal attack in favour of a flanking movement to the right. 
Accompanied by my plucky Mhutu spearsman this we 
accordingly did, and creeping over the mossy ground we 
presently found ourselves on the edge of a steep glade. On 
reaching this spot I cautiously peeped through the bamboos 
and as luck would have it at that moment c-r-a-c-k went a 
rotten stick beneath my foot ; there was a roar followed by 
a general commotion in front of me, and again I was dis- 
covered. I now threw caution to the winds and wriggled 
I recklessly through the remaining bamboo stems in the wake 
' of the retreating quarry. This brought me out into the open 
glade and there, squatting in some thick brushwood and 
apparently quite undismayed by the danger signals of his 
companions, sat or rather half-stood, with both his massive 
hands resting on the ground before him, a huge *' old-man '' 
gorilla, regarding me with his malign and wrinkled counten- 
ance. At this moment I whipped up my rifle and fired point 
blank at the great bare chest ; the little .303 bullet was well 
placed and its effect immediate, for he stumbled away but 
a few yards, and my second bullet finished his career. He 
then lay quite still outstretched on his stomach with his head 
buried between the two great hairy arms. 

Now pandemonium was let loose. Other members of the 

troop, which consisted as far as I could judge of two large 

and quite black females with several young ones of varying 

ages, stood around uttering their angry barking roars, and I 

beheld black and evil visages regarding me from under bamboo 

I I archways and over leafy thickets. Whilst from out the forest 

[U I to my right, ambled another monster and crossing right in 

f ^ front of me was soon lost to view in the woods beyond, but it 

85 






The Eastern Congo 



gave me a good '* full view " of another of these giants. 
This was a second male and his black form made a splendid 
picture against the lighter foliage as he stopped to gaze 
curiously at me with his old and furrowed face. 

However as I had shot the one, I let him pass on to rejoin 
the rest of the troop which had now calmed down and were 
moving off into the undergrowth — going forward myself 
to examine my prize which lay face down in the grass. On 
turning him over I was truly astonished at his herculean 
proportions. His immense arms and hands were especially 
striking and of such enormous strength that they could doubt- 
less tear even a Hackensmidt or a Sandow limb from limb 
in a few minutes. These abnormally long arms give this 
splendid ape a misshapen appearance when walking (or 
ambling is a better description), the legs being very short in 
comparison. Living as they do in the mist-covered moun- 
tains at a high elevation, and seldom descending to below 
an altitude of seven thousand feet, these animals carry a 
thick and long coat of hair, with the exception of the chest 
which is bare grey skin. In colour, the hair on the arms and 
shoulders is black, the lower part of the back of the old males 
having across it a broad band of grey, the lower parts of the 
body as well as the head becoming greyish brown when fully 
adult. 

The most interesting feature about this specimen, however, 
and one that has not been remarked before in others, was the 
elongated crown or crest of thickened skin surmounting the 
head, which has since been described as a growth similar 
to the warty face protuberances of the orang-utan and a 
mark of the completely adult male. This crown was deeply 
cut in two or three places as if by the teeth of other males 

86 




S o 









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C A Bird's-eye View of the Subsidiary Crater of Ninagongo, 
in which the Author camped with Commandant Hollants. 







d. The male Kivu Gorilla shot by the Autliur. The 
remarkable crown or crest is here seen to advantage. 



Gorilla Hunting 



when fighting. These animals have no cheek pouch and of 
course no tail. 

With a weight approximating four hundred and fifty lbs.* 
the measurements of my specimen were as follows : — 

Standing height (crown to sole of foot) . . 63! inches 
Span of arms . . . . . . . . 90 ,, 

Chest 61 

Fore arm . . . . . . . . . . 16J 

Length of foot . . . . . . . . 12 „ 

Length of hand . . . . . . . . 10 ,, 

I have given above the animaFs " standing height," but 
as a matter of fact, contrary to the popular theory, a gorilla 
seldom walks erect, unless when using its hands to support 
itself by branches overhead or when alarmed or attacked. 

Non-arboreal in habit, this monster ape would seem to 
have no enemies, failing man ; and even man, the most 
dreaded of all the animal world, holds little fear for the gorilla 
in his inaccessible home. As before described they never 
sleep in trees but prefer to make a nest or shelter on the 
ground, frequently in the centre of a clump of bamboo stems. 
Judging by my observations, it may be said they scarcely 
ever climb trees and moreover are not partial to fruit or 
nuts, preferring to feed on grass herbage and bamboo leaves. 
Bearing this out is the fact that seeds are never to be seen 
in their droppings (like those of a chimpanzi for instance) — 
which resemble those of a horse. The gorilla walks squarely 
on all fours, with the fingers of its hands doubled under, so 
that the backs of them are in contact with the ground. 

It was now my task, after photographing and filming my 
prize to have it carried into camp for the skinning and curing 

• Over 32 stone. 

87 



The Eastern Congo 

of the hide and skeleton.* Under this decidedly heavy load 
twelve niggers struggled and thus heavily laden we slowly 
reached the tents. 

The days that followed were engaged in making an ex- 
cursion to the Visoke volcano and the ascent of the twin peaks 
of Mikeno and Karisimbi, between which I had my camp. 
Senecios, lobeUas, heathers and other Alpine plants are to be 
found growing in profusion at an elevation of about ii,ooo 
feet on both these volcanoes. At one place just below the 
bare cone of Karisimbi, senecios take the place of nearly all 
other vegetation. 

These various excursions had now completed my entomo- 
logical work, which proved to be rather disappointing owing 
to the disgusting weather that had again set in. The cold 
and wet made it impossible for me to keep warm night or 
day. Fortunately one evening before I broke camp the 
clouds had drifted away, revealing the splendid spectacle, 
hidden till now, of the red storm-tossed cloud-masses hanging 
above the amber smoke-column of Namlagira, and behind 
it all the sun setting in a haze of golden splendour. 

My work completed, I now packed up my belongings and 
again retraced my steps by way of Njundo to my temporary 
home at Kisenji, where the gorilla proved of the greatest 
interest to both white and black. The skin always attracted 
a great deal of attention wherever I had it out to dry, the 
crowd of natives examining it outside my tent often becoming 
positively embarrassing. It was put down to be anything 
between a hyena and a lion, according to the tribe we were 
living amongst. In the Ituri forest, where lions are unknown, 

♦ Note. — My camp followers, although pretty hungry at the time, refused 
to eat the meat of the gorilla. 

88 






Gorilla Hunting 

it was a lion ; anywhere else it was anything from a muga 
to an aquatic animal, but few natives, curiously enough, 
perhaps one in a thousand, knew it for what it was, and those 
that knew held it in superstitious dread. 

On reaching Risen ji I found that several cases had occurred 
amongst the native population of cerebro-spinal meningitis, 
a common disease amongst the Ruanda and Urundi natives. 
To combat the spreading of this disease, disinfection of the 
lungs and throat was being carried out by the medical depart- 
ment. This took place every morning near the compounds 
and had to be attended by all native servants, our own 
included. 

Before the war the Germans at Kisenji were in possession 
of a small gasoline launch. This they sunk, together with 
many drums of petrol in the lake near by, when they evacuated 
the place in 1916. Having been salved the launch is now in the 
possession of the Belgians, and together with a motor- 
barge is the only mechanically driven vessel on the lake. 
I beheve, however, that another barge is now in course of 
construction. 

The Petrolette, as it was called, was very kindly put 
at my disposal by Commandant Hollants and so, wishing to 
pay a visit to the scene of the 1912 eruption, in the north- 
west corner of Lake Kivu, I set out one fine morning with 
the engineer and two White Fathers for Bobandana, at the 
south end of Mbusi Bay. We had already passed the high 
diff and bare lava-beds that mark the narrowed channel 
into the bay, and had examined from a distance with our 
glasses the newly formed volcano, when our engine went on 
strike. It appeared that since the engine's two years' im- 
mersion in the lake it often did this when it felt Hke it, 

89 



The Eastern Congo 

requiring sometimes gentle persuasion in the form of two or 
three gallons of lubricating oil or a brand new sparking plug, 
at other times a few pieces of sardine tin or binding with 
native fibre were necessary, and then again on other occasions 
nothing whatever would move it. This proved to be one 
of the last-named occasions, so the rough native paddles 
had to be produced, much to everyone's disgust, and with 
these we got the boat along. Presently we hailed some 
native canoes, one being sent back to Kisenji with a note to 
the Commandant asking for the motor-barge to be sent out 
to our assistance. In the meantime we paddled painfully 
into Bobandana Mission Station. 

We were hospitably received by the Fathers and as far as 
the circumstances would allow " made comfortable " for 
the night, but as it passed uncomfortably for me, I was glad 
to welcome the motor-barge early next morning. 

After loading up this with European potatoes for Busum- 
bura, we took the Petrolette in tow and started off again. 

Shortly after coming out from Mbusi Bay we observed 
a sunken volcano, its crater-edge just showing above water 
in the form of a horse-shoe of bush-clad land enclosing a 
fairy-like lagoon. It is an enchanting little island called 
Chegera, and after entering its calm and unruffled waters 
by the narrow entrance one finds oneself nearly surrounded 
by a thin ring of greenery, sloping quickly to a reed-clad 
shore, on the other side of which lie the blue waters of the lake 
itself. Years ago the missionaries had put some pigs on this 
lagoon-island, and their progeny were living there in a semi- 
wild condition. I shot two of these pigs for our larder and 
hoisting these aboard we set out for our return to Kisenji, 
which we reached without further incident. 

90 







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CHAPTER VIII 

TO THE GAME-HAUNTED SOLITUDES OF THE 
RUCHURU AND RUINDI PLAINS 

" When the world is out of gear. 

When our gods have gone astray^ 
When the ghosts of yester-year 

Rise to taunt the corning day, 
In the lull before the rains 
Hie we to the Magic Plains." 

The Magic Plains. Verse I, 

BEFORE leaving Kisenji to resume our northward 
journey it fell to my lot, for the second time in my 
life, to be reported as killed by an elephant. How 
and where the report started it is difficult to say but like 
news of disaster all the world over it travelled quickly, and 
before many weeks had passed my wife was receiving letters 
of condolence from all parts of the country, as far even as from 
Lake Tanganyika. As I told my wife, judging from the tone 
of one of the letters I am not at all sure that it would not have 
ended in a proposal of marriage if she had not written to 
disprove the report, whilst thanking the kind inquirer for his 
sympathy. 

The peace of Kisenji was rudely shaken on the morning 
upon which we had decided to start. The discovery was 
made that in the night a large man-eating lion had sprung 
on a wretched native servant going to the lake for water 
aiid had partially eaten the body, leaving the gruesome 
remains on the foreshore for all to see. As my porters were 
all ready and loaded for departure, I was unable to stay for 
the lion hunt that was to be arranged. Whether or no the 

91 



The Eastern Congo 



Belgians eventually bagged the lion I did not hear, but it 
served its purpose as far as we were concerned by putting 
our whole " safari " on the qui vive when night came on, and 
prepared us for any eventualities that might occur in the 
lion-infested country we were about to visit. 

We were now to leave the Awa-ruanda for the last time. 
Concerning their country enough has perhaps been said to 
show how great it is, and what potentialities lie dormant 
within it for the future. It only remains to be seen with what 
courage and administrative ability the Belgians will meet 
their task. But I am bound to say this much, that they seem 
to have struck the right note in their dealings with Sultan 
Msinga, and also that their policy is at present paternal and 
lenient with every chance of working smoothly, providing 
no further friction arises between the Church (or the many 
Roman Catholic Missions — who are inclined to be rather too 
assertive of their authority over the natives), and the State. 
Further, there can be little doubt that the class of Belgian 
official employed in administering the Ruanda to-day com- 
pares favourably with his English neighbour across the border. 

The boundaries of the Belgian Tanganyika territory 
have now been fixed, but as they are a little complicated 
my reader had best refer to the map bound up with this 
volume, and so save the tedium of reading a written descrip- 
tion of them. 

It was not generally known at the commencement of the 
war that the Germans had advanced so far with their pro- 
jected railway from Tabora past the south end of Namirembe 
Bay to Kaseke on the southern bend of the Kagera River. 
As a matter of fact, work on this railway had proceeded at 
such a pace that the construction of the line had reached 

92 



The Ruchuru and Ruindi Plains 

more than half-way between the two points. It is moreover 
beHeved that this railway formed part of the German Imperial 
scheme of the conquest of Central Africa. It was discovered 
during the war that an (until lately) unknown valley (known 
of course to the Germans but kept secret and unpubHshed 
in any save their Secret Service maps) exists on the western 
side of the Kagera River, and runs parallel with it to a point 
called Katitumba, near the Uganda border ; through this a 
hght railway track can be constructed with ease. From 
Katitumba I am told it is also a fairly simple problem of 
railway construction to reach Lake Edward itself, down the 
valley of the Ntungwe. Thus, owing to fortune being against 
them in Europe, did another German adventure come to 
naught and light was thrown again on their secret plans. 

Before passing on to a description of the game-haunted 
sohtudes of Lake Edward, it would be as well to record here 
the facts that led up to the Belgian occupation of the Ruanda 
and Urundi, so I cannot do better than quote *' Nomad's " 
brief account from The Spectator : — 

" Up to December, 1915, the mihtary operations of the 
Congo Belgians had been practically confined to the defence 
of their own frontiers, as their forces in the Eastern Congo 
were only such as sufficed for the defence of their own borders, 
and beyond the garrisoning of certain British frontier outposts 
in Kigezi, no other mihtary assistance to the operations in 
German East Africa could be rendered. Concentration of 
native troops from the Western Congo, where their military 
headquarters were situated, was both difficult and slow owing 
to the immense distances to be traversed, and it was not 
until early in 1916 that any appreciable assistance could be 
offered to the British forces. 

93 



The Eastern Congo 

" In Uganda also the position had been strictly defensive 
as the regular troops had been withdrawn for the operations in 
German East Africa, and the training and equipment of the 
irregular forces which had been raised, necessarily took time. 

" This position was manifestly unsatisfactory as it kept 
both the Belgian Congo and Uganda frontiers in a state of 
unrest, hence it was considered advisable for the respective 
Governments to endeavour to arrange for a combined offen^ 
sive, which would clear the Belgian frontiers and the territory 
between Lake Victoria on the east and Lakes Edwards and 
Kivu on the west. A conference was consequently arranged 
between the two Governments when it was decided that, 
subject to the approval of the British Commander-in-Chief 
of the East African operations, General Tombeur, with the 
Belgian Congo troops, would undertake an immediate advance 
into the Ruanda, provided the Uganda Government would 
supply the necessary transport. Mutual action followed and 
the Belgian Congo force, with the Uganda Transport Corps 
which had been specially organised for the purpose, started on 
April 25th, 1916 from Kamwezi, near the Uganda frontier. 

" Ruanda and Urundi were clear of German troops by July, 
and by September the Belgian Congo troops had reached and 
occupied Tabora on the Central Railway. The Uganda Defence 
Force moved forward at the same time and cleared Karagwe ; 
Bukoba and Muanza being subsequently occupied. An 
arrangement between the British and Belgian Congo military ^ 
authorities followed, whereby Ruanda, Urundi and the terri-' 
tory to the west of a line drawn from Namirembe Bay on 
Lake Victoria to the south-east corner of Tanganyika, came 
into the Belgian Congo sphere of administration, Karagwe 
being reserved to the British." 

94 




C. r.ake Kivii. Looking towards the western wnll of 
the Rift Valley from the crater island of Chegera. 




C A Bahutu Dance in progress at Kisenji. 




C The Whale-headed (or Boat-billed) Stork {Balceniceps rex), found 
on the Upper Nile and round the north-west of the Victoria 
Nyanza. Two specimens of this rare bird have lately been 
captured on Take Kissale on the Tualaba River. Its existence 
in the Congo Basin has never before been recorded. 



The Ruchuru and Ruindi Plains 

With these jottings on its contemporary history, I must 
leave the Ruanda and passing on, again cross the Congo- 
Nile watershed into the Lake Edward basin and describe our 
journeys through it to the Mountains of the Moon. 

We left Kisenji with an excited crowd standing round 
the remains of the meal of the man-eater, while the relatives 
of the deceased one occupied themselves in tying them on to 
a pole, with the idea of finishing off the feast in their own 
huts for aught I know ! 

Although our send-off was not lacking in heartiness and 
good wishes — for we made friends easily — it was on this 
occasion put quite in the shade by the night's tragedy. Thus 
it was we left behind us the palms, the lemon groves, and the 
geranium borders of beautiful Kisenji, to cross the boundary 
into the Belgian Congo. 

The track to Ruchuru takes the traveller by way of Kibati, 
through the pass formed by the two volcanoes of Ninagongo 
and Namlagira on the one hand and Mikeno and Karisimbi 
on the other. We had therefore to pass again close to the 
gorilla country and this decided me to spend a few days in an 
attempt to obtain some moving-pictures of these rare animals 
alive and to study their habits still further. 

We pitched the tents on one of the lower spurs of Mikeno, 
on the same spot where the Foster brothers had made camp 
some months previously. These two Uganda coffee planters 
had the good fortune to shoot a male and female gorilla, 
and to secure a baby one a few days old which they found 
clinging to the back of its dead mother. I have heard since 
that it thrived well and was bought by the New York Zoo. 
The Fosters had an interesting and successful hunting expedi- 
tion until almost the last day before their return home, when 

95 



The Eastern Congo 



a fatal accident with a wounded lion overtook the eldest of the 
two brothers whilst out shooting on the Ruindi Plains. 

After three days' climbing round the steep sides of Mikeno, 
it became evident that the gorillas had shifted their quarters 
to the eastern slopes of Karisimbi, and the weather being wet 
and misty, I had to abandon any further ideas of cinemato- 
graphy or gorilla hunting. Therefore we struck camp, and 
moving northward, crossed the watershed on to the recently 
formed lava flats, the drainage from which forms one of the 
ultimate sources of the Nile. 

The roughness and iron-like nature of the volcanic region 
through which we were passing, was well evidenced by the 
mutilated and bent toes of not only all our porters, but of 
the majority of the inhabitants of the villages as well. More- 
over, hunters who know the district complain that many 
of the elephants who roam over this region are quite often 
minus one tusk, due to having it smashed off when stumbling 
or stampeding over the lava-strewn bush. My wife and my- 
self, in spite of our boots, soon felt the discomfort of walking 
on such a hard and unyielding surface, and the feet of our 
carriers were usually bleeding at the end of the day's march. 
Having passed the Roman Catholic Mission of Rugari we were 
therefore glad to find ourselves well over the more recent 
lava flow and to feel the soft earth again beneath our feet. 

Wishing to get our camp fixed up and to avoid one of the 
afternoon storms we were experiencing at this time, I found 
it necessary, contrary to my general rule, to pass this mission 
without calling on the Fathers by which, much to my regret, 
I lost the goodwill of these kind people. It appears they were 
expecting and looking forward to meeting us, but this I did 
not reaUse at the time or I should have stopped for a chat. 

96 



The Ruchuru and Ruindi Plains 

During this period of our journey there was a break be- 
tween the seasons of the " Uttle '* and the '' big '' rains. 
The mornings were always fine, but short thunder or rain 
storms were a frequent occurrence in the afternoons, and the 
rain being of an exceptionally cold or sometimes sleety variety, 
it was not exactly in favour with our naked Bahutu porters. 
They however, had a novel method of keeping the rain away — 
a method thoroughly believed in by all the natives of the 
Ruanda. A short wooden whistle, or rather pipe, about 
three and a half inches long is carried, slung on a string, by 
most of these natives when on a journey ; this pipe would be 
produced when a storm threatened, by any native who thought 
himself favoured by the gods, and he would blow it whilst 
standing on some eminence — such as an ant-hill or mound ; 
at intervals cursing and imploring Jupiter Pluvius not to 
use his watering-pot. The harangue and the whistling away 
of the rain always interested the whole ''safari,'' and odds 
I were even as to the result, the proceeding being watched 
(with great attention. As the unsuccessful whistlers always 
" had their legs pulled " by everybody, and entirely lost 
their prestige if the rain came after all, it was noticeable 
that when a man stepped out with his whistle he was very 
jcareful to select the right occasion, when the set of the wind 
jpr other signs appeared favourable to the desired result. 
flhe Wanya-ruanda are the only natives, as far as I know, who 
practise this curious custom ; it is usually the other way in 
JAfrica — the gods are more often invoked to send rain and not 
to withhold it. 

On a long expedition such as we were making, and being 
rontinually on the move to fresh scenes and new places, we 
:ontracted the restless habit of *' thinking on ahead '' so to 

97 H 



The Eastern Congo 

speak. No sooner had we arrived at one place — which had 
been our goal for some weeks and the name of which had 
entered daily into our conversation — than we began to think 
and speak about our next centre or stopping-place. At first 
it was the Lualaba River, then Tanganyika, then Lake Kivu 
and so now our minds began to *' crystallize '* on the Moun- 
tains of the Moon — the turning point of our long march. f 

It was said that from near the Government station of 
Ruchuru, these great mountains could be seen over a hundred 
miles away. This Belgian Post, which we were now approach- 
ing, stands on the river of the same name, at an elevation, 
of 4,150 feet above sea level, and about midway between 
Lakes Kivu and Edward. It is the administrative head-, 
quarters of the Kivu district and is connected by a track 
over the border with Kabare, in the Kigezi district of Uganda, 
but at this time the border was " closed " on account of 
rinderpest, and only mails were allowed across. There 
were ten or a dozen Government officials, including a customs 
officer, also a branch of the Banque du Congo Beige, 

We reached the place early in November, and althougl: 
the site of the township is a good one and commands a fiu( 
view of the splendid Kasali mountains across the Ruchuri 
valley, we did not find it healthy, and, in fact, felt ill anc 
feverish during the period of our stay there. I found i' 
necessary to remain nine days, to enable the special messenger 
despatched by the Administrateur, to reach Kasindi at th< 
north end of Lake Edward, and to bring back, with a suitabl 
crew, a steel barge or baleiniere lying there. By the kindnes 
of the Administrateur, Monsieur Vanderghorte, this was pu 
at our disposal to take us up the lake, for on inquiry I wa 
informed that the overland journey along the west side c 

98 



The Ruchuru and Ruindi Plains 

Lake Edward was dangerous and impracticable on account 
of the cannibals who infest this region. 

At Ruchuru I had to pay customs duty and take out my 
shooting licences. For some reason only known to the 
Belgian Government, the game laws and regulations are 
constantly altering, especially in regard to the shooting of 
elephants. The district residents themselves are never certain 
about the cost of game licences, or the number of elephants 
allowed to be shot. When I applied for a licence I was 
informed that the cost would be i,ooo francs for the first two 
and 400 francs for each subsequent elephant shot, up to twenty 
head, but that, although the applicant had to pay his money 
down, he was unable to receive his licence or commence 
shooting for two months, as the application had to be for- 
j warded for the Governor's signature at Stanleyville, thirty 
^ days overland. This arrangement must lose the Government 
= many thousands of francs annually, as few hunters would be 
1 inclined to wait such a length of time. The regulation came 
I into force a few weeks before I reached Ruchuru. I applied 
for a licence to shoot two elephants, but when I received it 
from Stanleyville twelve weeks later, the regulations had 
again been altered. I also took out a licence to shoot small 
game, costing fifty francs, which can be obtained on the spot, 
and under which I was able to shoot all kinds of game, ex- 
cepting elephants, chimpanzis, gorillas and okapis. To shoot 
khe three last mentioned animals a special licence is necessary 
lior which, however, no charge is made if such specimens are 
required for scientific purposes. 

The district being very rich entomologically, both my 
-oUecting '' boys " and myself used every available hour of 
:he day for catching insects in the large patches of evergreen 

99 



The Eastern Congo 



found in the neighbourhood ; these were located around 
the sources of the smaller streams, in the folds of the hills, 
and also on the borders of the lakelets of this interesting region. 
For the most part the eastern side of the Ruchuru valley 
is covered with luxuriant elephant-grass and low bush. The 
river itself, which has its main source in Lake Mutanda, 
runs swiftly at the very foot of the grass-covered spurs of the 
Kasali mountains, first through the rough lava blocks from 
Namlagira, then out into the lacustrine plains of Lake Edward. 

Having crossed the Congo-Nile water-parting over the 
Virunga mountains, the sudden change in the insect-fauna on 
the Nile slope is most marked, for here one finds entirely 
different species of insects, some of which I had not seen for 
months past — since leaving Lake Tanganyika, in fact ! The 
division is definite but comparatively few miles in width, 
a narrow boundary where the steppe region ends and the 
intermediate forest and grass area begins. 

The panoramic view, to be obtained from Ruchuru, of 
the Virunga volcanoes is one of the most imposing bits of 
scenery to be seen anywhere in Africa. From here these 
eight giants line across the landscape in imposing array, 
commanding the attention of all beholders and the admiration 
of the most phlegmatic. This was the last view we had of 
them, for on leaving Ruchuru the traveller to Lake Edward 
descends rapidly to the plains and the greater portion of 
the range is then hidden from view. This last view, however, 
does the volcanoes ample justice, and one leaves them with 
the firm conviction that the stupendous forces that now lie 
dormant have by no means reached their last effort, but are 
preparing a holocaust that will convulse the district yet 
again in a giant upheaval. 

100 



The Ruchuru and Ruindi Plains 

Our porters were now ready and our route mapped out, 
but before leaving Ruchuru I must say one word in praise 
of the care and attention that the Belgians have bestowed 
on the flower and strawberry beds in and around the *' town- 
ship/' The flowers were principally roses, and the fact that 
they grow here so luxuriantly had led one of the Government 
officials to turn rose-planter for the production of attar of 
roses. No strawberries grown in the tropics have any 
flavour, to my mind, but what was lacking in quality in the 
Ruchuru fruit was well made up for in quantity and nothing 
could surpass them for jam-making purposes. 

We made a friend in Monsieur Fourget, the manager of 
the Banque du Congo Beige at Ruchuru, who happily decided 
to join our " safari " and take a few days' shooting leave. 
We found him a delightful and entertaining companion and 
his method of hunting dangerous game — which I will recount 
later on — fairly '' tickled us to death " (as the Americans 
say). 

We all '* got under way '* on the morning of the 12th of 

A November, and very soon found ourselves traversing the 

^ humid flats, now long with standing grass, that here border 

the eastern side of the Ruchuru River. After a long and 

'! hot trek we crossed the river by a shaky bridge and camped 

under the Kasali mountains on the other side. 

The following day brought us by an easy and pleasant 
march to some boiling springs known as Maji-ya-moto. The 
water, which is too hot to bear the hand in, has its source 
in several geysers, one throwing up a continuous thin jet of 
water, and others ejecting it explosively from the rocks at 
short intervals. As the steaming hot water has only a few 
hundred yards to flow before it reaches the Ruchuru, it 

lOI 



The Eastern Congo 

increases the temperature of that river pretty considerably. 
The hippos have found this out, and a pool a short way 
below the junction is a favourite haunt of theirs. As our 
tents were pitched below the high bluff which here marks 
the turning point to the west of the Kasali mountains, a 
number of these great beasts were to be seen below the camp 
enj oying their hot bath. Not being in want of meat and hoping 
to obtain some moving-pictures of them, I am glad to say 
they were left unmolested on this occasion, much to the 
disgust of our porters, however, who were dying for a gorge 
of their favourite food. 

Although we were only on the outskirts of the extensive 
lacustrine plains to which I have previously alluded, yet 
around this camp (which stood on a high pebbly ridge, forming 
part of the ancient foreshore of the old lake system), we had a 
glimpse, in the herds of antelope around us, of the extra- 
ordinary wealth of animal life collected in this comparatively 
small area by Lake Edward. As it is perhaps the remotest 
and least accessible of any such places in Africa to-day, it is 
likely to remain for many a long year a sanctuary for bird 
and beast, unvisited save only by an occasional traveller. 

By selecting a track that led us to an unmapped river 
called the Ruindi, which rises in a distant corner at the back 
of the Kasali mountains, we were breaking new ground. 
The line of the Ruindi River is marked on few if any published 
maps and is named on none of them, but it is nevertheless a 
broad and swift, though shallow river, bearing down to the 
lake a considerable volume of water from some unknown 
source in the western Rift Valley mountains. It is not 
definitely known if the waters of Lake Moho and its many 
marshy surroundings — flying north-west of the Namlagira 

102 




o 
a, 

X 



The Ruchuru and Ruindi Plains 

volcano — drain into Lake Kivu, directly into the Oso River, 
a tributary of the Congo, or into Lake Edward ; or even if 
its waters drain off at all, but it has been thought that this 
small lake might form the source of the Ruindi. Judging 
by the configuration of the Kasali and the connecting ranges 
viewed from the Lake Edward side, I am of the opinion 
that Lake Moho does not form a direct source for the Ruindi, 
but may however feed a spring below its own level by seepage 
through the intervening hills at its north end, and so become 
indirectly a source for the latter river. 

After the gameless country of Ruanda our trek amongst 
the herds of buck scattered over the intervening plains between 
the Ruchuru and Ruindi Rivers, was indeed a pleasure, 
and in spite of the terrific heat the rather stiff march passed 
more easily. This first day gave us a foretaste of our new 
environment, after which we expected anything, for whilst 
striking camp in the early morning we were all set agog, as 
we munched our breakfast, by a fine old lioness suddenly 
appearing in full view of the whole caravan. She was, how- 
ever, a little too curious and stood regarding us just a trifle 
too long, for having my rifle handy I drew a bead on her at 
three hundred yards and hit her, whereupon she sprang 
into the long grass, lying down beside an ant-heap as if badly 
wounded. Unfortunately it was impossible to follow her up, 
as the lioness was on the opposite side of the river which 
was unfordable at this point, so there we had to leave it, for 
a hot and long journey lay before us. 

The Honess began the day and a nasty, soHtary old 
bull buffalo ended it, challenging our right of way as we 
approached our proposed camping place on the Ruindi 
River. 

103 



The Eastern Congo 

It was in this way. The porters who, on account of thirst, 
were anxious to reach the river, were a good mile ahead of 
us and could be seen advancing in a long string across the 
plain. We had just reached a high piece of ground over- 
looking this scene and were rather astonished to notice 
what looked like an elephant in the shimmering heat, 
advancing steadily towards the head of the caravan. The 
porters had stopped and were all bunched up, undecided as 
to what to do ; but their minds were made up for them 
however, a few seconds afterwards, by the big animal, which 
turned out to be a very large old buffalo, increasing his pace 
into the well-known lumbering gallop, with the result that our 
carriers fled precipitately, leaving only a line of loads to face 
the charging animal. We were fortunate in having a clear 
bird's-eye view of the whole affair, and the three of us stood 
watching the miniature bull-fight with open-mouthed interest. 
(We could almost feel ourselves standing below there with 
those nervous porters, at the critical moment when the 
buffalo charged and the men, dropping their loads, sprinted 
back in a body, shedding clothes, calabashes and other odds 
and ends as they ran.) Our friend the buffalo came near 
the loads, got a whiff of them, it seemed, and thinking in his 
little mind that having '* cleared the field " he had done 
all that was required, lumbered away again across the plain, 
probably to some little spot that only he knew, where the grass 
grew lush and long for the evening feed. 

Just before this episode we obtained our first view of 
Lake Edward, showing as a silver streak two days' march 
to the north ; beyond this again we thought we could make 
out a dull gleam high above the horizon, but could not be 
sure if this was in reality a reflection from the great snow 

104 



« 



The Ruchuru and Ruindi Plains 

mountains for which our gaze searched, or if it was only some 
figment of the imagination. 

The porters having gathered their belongings and re- 
shouldered their loads, it was not long ere we reached the 
deeply eroded ravine of the Ruindi River, which runs seventy 
or eighty feet below the level of the surrounding plains. Owing 
to the thick forest that clothes the sides of the river — growing 
at the bottom of the ravine and not on its edge — and the 
tops of the trees not reaching above the surrounding level, 
the course of the river is all but hidden from view unless one 
overlooks it from some eminence or is close to it. It is just 
such a river course as one would expect would eat its way 
across these vast flats in a bygone age when they were plastered 
with the slimy ooze of the lake bottom, after the great eruption 
had damned back the waters of Lake Kivu. Few trees of 
any size have been able to find root on these sun-baked arid 
plains since then, excepting the hardy Acacia thorns, euphor- 
bias and other zerophytes. 

Crossing the Ruindi ravine was not easy, as its sides 
are best described as cliffs, but after a rest in its cool shade 
we were soon clambering up the far bank and presently 
found ourselves at an old camping place and standing round 
the forlorn grave of young Foster, on the other side. 

" Killed by a lion ! " From all accounts, Foster, who 
was a keen and plucky hunter, would like the above epitaph 
as well as any other and although his grave is the most lonely 
imaginable from a human point of view, he lies midst a great 
assembly of splendid animals : and how much finer, cleaner 
and more graceful are they than human beings ! 

The tale concerning his death was told to me by Monsieur 
Fourget, who accompanied the Fosters on the trip in question. 

105 



The'^ Eastern Congo 

It has been told before and will be told again so long as there 
are Britishers ; the circumstances were as follows : — 

The Ruindi plains at certain times of the year have more 
lions to the square mile than any other part of Africa (or the 
world for that matter). They are to be seen here in troops 
of seventeen to twenty at a time. The natives have fled 
the district and all save two small villages have been aban- 
doned on account of them. Lions here are as common as 
rabbits in a park. This fact being known at Ruchuru, the 
brothers Foster heard of it and, collecting carriers, immedi- 
ately proceeded to the spot, camping in the same place where 
we camped. 

When we arrived the game had shifted down the Ruindi 
towards the Ruchuru estuary and the lions with them, but 
some weeks previously, when the Fosters were there, they 
were extremely numerous and it was only necessary to leave 
a dead buck or two about to find lions feeding on at least 
one of the carcases in the morning or afternoon. The brothers 
had shot five lions in this way, but not content with this 
fine bag they spoored up — with the help of their dogs — a 
lion which they had wounded, locating it in a dense thicket. 
Here they did not take the warning their dogs gave them by 
their evident reluctance to enter this, but the two brothers, 
advancing shoulder to shoulder, with their rifles at the ready, 
went in. On reaching the centre of the small wood the lion 
charged them at close quarters and, failing to kill it, the 
elder brother was knocked flying by the infuriated animal, 
which gave him a terrible bite in the neck. The poor fellow 
was carried sadly back to camp with his spine so badly 
injured that he succumbed two days later. 



io6 




V- 



w^§ 




CI, The Kasali Mountains, bordering the Ruchuru River, 
looking south across the old lake-floor of the Rift Valley. 




d. The Foster brothers and a before-breakfast bag on 
the Ruindi River. The man on the left of the picture 
was killed by a lion as described in this chapter. 



p 




CHAPTER IX 

THE WILD SHORES OF LAKE EDWARD 
AND ITS GREAT GAME 

" Shadow shapes with sweeping horns 
Glinting in the level rays, 
Shapes that through a thousand dawns 

Feed along the meadoiv ways. 
Roan and eland and the rest 
Grazing toward the golden West.** 

The Magic Plains. Verse IV. 

HOW the balance of nature is kept with regard to lions 
has never been adequately explained. Nothing preys 
on them and a lioness gives birth to from two to 
four — sometimes five — cubs at a time. Yet, how is it they 
do not overrun Africa ? 

Antelopes and other animals, having many enemies and 
producing their kind one at a time, have overrun parts of 
the continent to such an extent that human ingenuity has 
been hard put to it to cope with their numbers. Environment 
and scarcity or otherwise of food has little to do with it in 
the case of lions, for they are frequently numerous in districts 
where game is scarce and scarce where game is plentiful. 

Seeking a reason to account for their numbers being 
kept within bounds, one perhaps finds it in the fact that 
the lion, like some dogs, pigs and rabbits, has a malign instinct 
found cropping out here and there throughout nature, and 
not entirely absent even from man — that makes it eat its 
own cubs. To guard against this race-suicide, the mother 
Hon has to resort to hiding them away from her lord and 
master as best she can, 

107 



The Eastern Congo 



It is possible also that young lions are more prone to 
disease than vegetable-feeding animals. That the lioness, 
like all the cat tribe, is a good and affectionate mother is 
proved by the following experience. 

Some years ago I had my tent pitched in a small village 
in Nyasaland, and during the night was awakened by the low 
moaning grunts of a lion, which continued until the early 
hours of the morning. At the time I thought the sounds 
unusual for a lion, being so low toned and mournful. In 
fact, imtil I went outside my tent to listen more attentively 
they seemed to come from a distance, but it was evident, 
by the indrawn breath being distinctly audible, that they 
were uttered close at hand. 

Early next morning, having just left the vicinity of the 
village and entering a well-worn track made by elephants 
when raiding the native gardens, I ran right into a big lion 
round a bend in the path. He gave me no time to even 
raise my rifle, but catching sight of me gave a great bound 
that landed him in one instant completely out of sight in the 
long grass. Shortly after I heard a growl from the opposite 
side of the track which betokened a second lion. 

I returned to the village and, collecting my porters and a 
few volunteers, organised a drive, which however was un- 
successful. After the drive and when returning to camp, 
I followed a narrow trail in the bush which on examination 
proved to be a well-worn lion path, and which brought me to 
a deep pit-fall made by the natives for trapping antelope 
feeding in their gardens. This pit was less than one hundred 
yards from the village, and I was astonished to find that 
another track led me beyond the pit up to a certain hut in 
the village. The ground in proximity to the pit was flattened 

io8 ft'ff 




The Lions of Lake Edward 

down, showing on it after a recent shower — and also along 
the two tracks I have described— innumerable broad pug 
marks of lions. The pit itself was scored on all sides near 
the top by a network of deep scratches in the hard clay. 

The natives of Nyasaland and Rhodesia have many super- 
stitions regarding lions, principal among which is their belief 
in the transmigration of the souls of their dead chiefs into 
the bodies of lions, and on this account natives there will give 
little or no information or help to the would-be lion hunter. 
However, after some persuasion, I elicited the following 
facts to account for the curious discovery I had made. 

It appeared that two months before I arrived at the 
village, four lion cubs had fallen into the game pit and on 
being found next morning were speared and carried to the 
hut of the village headman, where they were skinned. From 
this time onwards the lion and lioness — father and mother 
of the cubs — never ceased to haunt the vicinity of the village, 
and almost nightly one or the other paced back and forth 
along the track to the pit, and from the pit to the hut and 
back again, searching for their lost cubs. At intervals, no 
doubt, the mother would claw away at the edge of the pit, 
perhaps fancying that her young ones were still there. While 
she did this she uttered the moaning calls I have described. 

This was not quite all, for the lions, finding game was 
becoming scarce in the vicinity, took to man-eating and 
had already killed and eaten the headman of the village and 
one of his wives. Thus was their revenge complete ! 

On the Ruindi River and on the mountains and plains 
surrounding it, are to be found large numbers of lions, giving 
the impression that all the lions for a radius of many miles 
had collected in this one spot. They started to entertain us 

log 



The Eastern Congo 

during dinner with a fine chorus from across the river, and 
kept it up at intervals until about the time we all turned 
in for the night. 

I was the last to go to bed as I set myself the rather tick- 
lish job of collecting moths with my lamp moth-trap. This 
consisted of a *' Storm-King '* gasoline lantern of 300 candle 
power,* standing in the centre of a four-foot cube-shaped 
frame-work, with mosquito netting stretched around three 
sides. As our camp stood on a cliff overlooking the tree 
tops of the Ruindi, I calculated the edge of this would be a 
good place to rig up my trap and so here I fixed it. However, 
towards 9.30 a heavy wind sprang up and blew lamp, table 
and trap over the cliff into the trees below ; so there I left 
them — veritably, to the lions, and went to bed to dream of 
the butterflies and moths that are only seen in dreamland, 
and of the splendid time I hoped to have '' filming '* the great 
game around us. 

It was not my intention to hunt lions in the ordinary 
sense, but as I passed through the country I hoped to obtain 
some moving pictures of them. So with this purpose in 
view, Mr. Fourget and myself would shoot either one or two 
waterbuck or Uganda kob {Cobus) in the course of the day, 
and, covering the carcases with leaves to prevent them being 
eaten by vultures meanwhile, leave them out at night in 
likely places as bait for lions. We did this on three occasions, 
but although we saw lions out on the plains, contrary to the 
experience of the Fosters, none came to our baits. This was 

* This lantern, which has mica in place of glass, and which is fitted with 
either one or two incandescent rag mantles and burns petrol vapour and air 
mixed, is the strongest and most economical lamp I know of for all " safari " 
purposes. The lamp referred to above fell and rolled a good fifty feet over the 
clifi, but, with the exception of the mantles, was imbroken when picked up. 

1 10 



The Lions of Lake Edward 

in part due to the fact that since the Fosters' visit, the game 
— and consequently the Hons — had shifted to other feeding 
grounds farther down the Ruindi, so we ourselves decided 
to move on. 

When I say the game had shifted to other pastures I do 
not mean to imply that there was little game to be seen. As 
a matter of fact we beheld antelope and other beasts still 
dotting the plains in all directions as we marched across 
them. First it would be a small herd of wart-hog that 
trotted beside us, tails erect and heads up in that smart way 
they have ; then we would pass through a herd of silly curious 
topi (Damaliscus), reminding me of the tsesebe of Lake 
Bangweulu, and anon, kob antelopes would have to be 
shoo-ed out of our way — in fact these last animals were so 
tame that when we came on one or two of them lying down 
they would only get up at the very last moment. Water- 
buck too, were numerous, being finer animals with larger 
horns than any I have seen in Africa. Reedbuck and bush- 
buck were fairly common ; and amongst the game-birds, 
two species of the lesser bustard, which make such a tasty 
addition to the hunter's menu. These birds were in greater 
numbers than I have previously seen anywhere. Guinea- 
fowls also were plentiful. It is round Lake Edward too 
(more frequently at the north end than on the plains to the 
south) that the hunter, if he has good luck and rises at dawn, 
may catch the giant forest hog {Hylochcerus meinertzhageni) 
out on the plain in search of roots, before this rare animal 
is aware that it is high time he was off again to his forest 
fastness. 

From our camp on the Ruindi, we took a north-westerly 
direction to the foot of the western wall of the Rift Valley 

III 



The Eastern Congo 

Mountains, which here rise steeply up from the flat plain. 
Game was now seen literally in thousands, which was not 
surprising as the grass was young and green from recent rains. 
Whereas we had before seen them in scattered bunches, 
they were now in herds of two and three hundred strong ; 
buffaloes and elephants were also included in the menagerie. 
The former were to be seen in strings, wandering down in 
Indian file to some waterhole, or standing about under the 
bright green acacia thorns in groups of grey and black, 
their swinging tails switching away the flies. The elephants 
looked gigantic in the heat mirage, and stood apart on the 
edge of a shallow river that here debouches from the moun- 
tains, with that baggy, misfitting-trousers kind of look, the 
while they lazily flapped their huge ears. 

We had reached a hunter's paradise of the wildest and 
most remote description, lacking in nothing dear to the heart 
of such savages as my wife and myself. The boat, engaged 
to meet us at a small fishing village on the shores of Lake 
Edward, was not due for some days yet, so we decided to 
give ourselves up to the fascination of the game-haunted 
solitudes around us and, for myself, to take advantage of 
the opportunities afforded for moving picture photography. 

We decided to make camp on the stream where the 
elephants were, and on our way thither, my wife, who was 
several yards ahead of Mr. Fourget and myself, ran plumb 
into a great herd of buffalo, which was hidden from view 
behind a screen of long grass. She was accompanied only 
b}^ one boy, whom she cutely sent back to warn me to bring 
along my movie-camera. This I got fixed up in double 
quick time, and carrying it over my shoulder, soon joined her 
close to the drowsy herd of buffalo, which fortunately, owing 

112 



ii 



The Lions of Lake Edward 

I to the set of the wind, was entirely unsuspicious of our pre- 
sence. As my wife wished to watch the subsequent proceed- 

' ings I placed her in a position of comparative safety on a 
high ant-hill. Meanwhile our Belgian friend and his black 
ex-soldier gun-bearer, having no fancy for buffaloes at such 
close quarters, climbed with considerable alacrity (though, 
I should imagine, not without pain) a small thorn tree still 
farther in the rear, from which elevated but precarious position 
(with their swaying rifles at the ready) they bravely viewed 
with scorn and derision the baffled buffaloes. 

Advancing carefully with my camera, by short stages, 

\\ I managed to get up to the animals and took some unique 
films of them at close range. Eventually they got alarmed 
and thundered away, disturbing as they did so a very large 
herd of mixed topi and kob which I had not noticed until 
then. I attempted to film these antelopes but unsuccessfully, 
after which we walked the short distance to the small river 
near at hand, where we camped 'neath some fine old acacias. 
From this camp I made several short excursions into the 
surrounding district in search of insects and to take pictures 
of game. Lions were frequently seen but I never managed 
to come within camera range of any of them except once, 
and then, as luck would have it, I was without my apparatus. 
However, I bagged two fine maned lions on this occasion 
and so was compensated to some extent for the loss of a 
unique chance to film them. 

Our Belgian friend, although a delightful camp companion, 

i was a broken reed as far as hunting or filming dangerous 

I; ^game was concerned. When it came to the point of facing 
a lion or a buffalo, even at a reasonably safe distance, as 

I |he himself remarked, he had not lost any and therefore was 

113 I 






The Eastern Congo 

not looking for them. He made " no bones about it/' but 
simply stated the fact that he did not intend risking his life 
for the sake of a mere trophy. Both my wife and myself 
" pulled his leg '* all day long but it made not a particle 
of difference to his even temper, as he entirely lacked the 
sporting instinct. 

In spite of this — what we will call — disability, he was 
nevertheless extremely anxious to shoot a buffalo, if he 
could do so at a safe distance, and one of his efforts to this 
end was the funniest thing I ever saw. 

Early one morning, on a dried-up swamp near our camp, 
there happened to be a small herd of buffaloes feeding, and 
as there were a few of Fourget's favourite trees near themj 
the chance was not to be missed ; he sallied forth therefore 
with his native bearer, whilst I brought up the rear with 
my kine-camera in the hope of filming something interesting. 
Some scattered trees, a good two hundred yards distant ' 
from the unsuspicious animals, were selected as the first i 
objective, but on reaching them they were found to be rather 
smaller than our friend had anticipated. They were, in 
fact, not more than ten or twelve feet high, of a sturdy 
growth with spreading tops, but as there was nothing bigger 
in the vicinity (and no thorn trees !) it had to be these or 
nothing. Fourget therefore legged it up the biggest and 
swaying gently, peered out over the grass at his coveted 
betes noireSy who fed slowly along. With our friend, the 
mere sight of a shaggy-eared buffalo was enough to '' put 
the wind up him." I think, therefore, at this moment one 
must have looked in his direction, for he beckoned to his 
gun-bearer to join him up the tree. Following his master's 
orders, the native just managed to push his way up beside 

114 



I; 



I 




d, A Cloud of the Kungu Fly on Lake Edward, seen at a 
distance of about three miles. A second cloud of these 
insects may be seen on the horizon to the right. 




d. Monsieur Fourget embarks in the " Betty" 
at dawn on his return to Ruchuru. 



The Lions of Lake Edward 

him, and the two of them swaying there Hke a couple of 
vultures on a windshaken branch, put the little tree to such 
a severe test that it gave way under the strain, precipitating 
the two clinging braves, rifles and all, into the grass below. 
After this they selected separate trees and arranged to fire 
simultaneously. Whether it was the swaying tree tops, 
or the long range, or the excitement, I do not know, but 
their selected victim appeared to lumber off unharmed after 
the fusillade, the herd settling down to feed again unconcernedly 
a mile or so farther on. Thinking to give Fourget a hand 
r to bag his buffalo, I left my camera behind and took him 
with me up to the herd which now stood in the open. How- 
ever, as there were no trees handy he would not shoot, so 
leaving him in disgust I returned to camp. 

Three more days having sped pleasantly away in this 
camp, we considered it time to be moving on to the wild 
shores of Lake Edward itself where we were to meet our 
boat. Before going on to a description of this remote water 
and its interesting fauna, I must say just one word in praise 
of an unknown '* feathered friend '' that never missed paying 
us a call each morning at early dawn. This little grey fellow 
of the Reed Warbler type had to my mind the most alluring 
and entrancing series of liquid whispering notes it is possible 
to conceive. They were so beautiful and of such sweetness 
that I shall never forget the little Lake Edward bird that, 
for a few minutes each morning, favoured the camp with 
his tiny song as if he knew we loved to hear it. I feel quite 
sure he missed the slumbering camp the morning after our 
departure, and went off to his breakfast with a sad heart. 

From this camp to the little bay that confronts the fishing 
village of Siko Moyo proved to be a good six hours' trek, 

115 



The Eastern Congo 

first through a series of acacia park lands and then, as we 
approached the lake, past the extensive palm-covered swamps 
that overgrow the estuary of the Ruindi River. On our 
left hand stood the abrupt spurs of the Central African Rift 
Mountains which run from here right out on to the western 
shores of the lake. Beyond them lies the unexplored country 
of the cannibal Bahuni, untrodden as yet by white man. 

At Siko Moyo we were glad to find a comfortable reed rest- 
house built on the sandy foreshore. The ^lake water, which 
always seems to be turbid with organic matter, we found to be 
slightly brackish and on this account not pleasant to drink. 

The lake itself, which stands at an elevation of three 
thousand feet above sea level, is said to have an area of 
approximately eight hundred and thirty square miles, and 
is fifty-two miles long by twenty-four in breadth. 

At certain times of the year, principally in December, 
what, in the distance, looks like heavy smoke clouds, some- 
times as much as half a mile in length by three hundred feet 
in height, are to be seen moving slowly across it. These 
are in reality clouds of tiny may-flies, the pupse of which 
are first noticeable as a reddish-brown film covering many 
hundred square yards of the surface of the lake. From 
this stage they suddenly hatch out, and rising quickly en 
masse, give the impression of having suddenly appeared 
from nowhere. Huge clouds of these insects are continually 
seen sweeping across the lake and to get into such a cloud 
is a most unpleasant experience. The natives of Lake 
Victoria as well as of Lake Edward collect and eat these 
insects in the form of baked cakes.* 

* They are also found on Lake Nyasa, and I think on Tanganyika. 
— H. H. J. 

Il6 




The Lions of Lake Edward 

Yet another interesting feature of the lake is the very 
large number of hippo to be found along the sand banks 
and reed beds of its south-western shore. Here during the 
day these animals, which are rapidly decreasing in numbers 
in other parts of Africa, lie in the shallows one on top of 
another in *' schools " of thirty and forty at a time, and at 
night turn the reedy flats into a perfect stamping ground 
in search of food. I have never seen so many together before 
nor found them so tame. It was possible to walk along a 
sand-spit to within twenty-five paces of the drowsy beasts 
before they would shift. 

Round our camp were some specially succulent reed 
beds which had sprung up young and green after the natives 
had cleared the surrounding vegetation when building the 
rest-house. It would seem that this patch of herbage, which 
lay directly behind the spot selected for our kitchen, had 
an irresistible attraction for Behemoth, for during the evening 
the cook rushed in to us with bulging eyes and the breathless 
statement that a hippo was about to invade the sacred pre- 
cincts of the culinary art. As the kitchen lay round the 
corner of the reed-hut, not fifteen paces away, this news 
was quite exciting, and the moon being at the full, my wife 
now hoped to realise her wish of seeing a hippo at really 
close quarters. She had, however, on this occasion donned 
a white dress for the evening, which of course would frighten 
away anything when seen in the bright moonlight, so telling 
her to cover herself with my black oilskin and handing her 
over to the tender mercies of the cook, whom I instructed 
to cautiously follow on behind me, I went in advance, rifle 
in hand, to reconnoitre. Before reaching the kitchen my 
nostrils were greeted with a strong odour of stable and I 

117 



The Eastern Congo 



heard the loud plucking sound made by a feeding hippo. 
Upon turning a clump of bushes, the cause of all this commo- 
tion came into full view, resembling nothing so much as a 
war tank. 

He was feeding unsuspiciously in the centre of the clearing, 
so advancing as near as I dare I took a low aim, as I always 
do when shooting at night, and fired. The " tank " now 
showed surprising agihty, and rushing towards the lake 
with the speed of an express train, was soon to be heard 
diving away into the water, where we found him " toes up,** 
next morning. As I said, when I went forward I left my 
wife with the cook, who, instead of carrying out my instruc- 
tions and following me, induced my wife to take a roundabout 
way to see the fun, with the result that partly owing to the 
incommodious garment she was wearing preventing free 
movement, she was nearly run over by the hippo in its dash 
for the water, and reached camp properly scared, vowing 
she would never, as long as she lived, go hippo hunting again. 

I had some quite novel experiences when filming hippo 
on the lake. The great drawback to successful photo- 
graphy there was the fact that in the morning, when the 
animals were sleepy and most easily approached from the 
shore-side, the sun was right on the camera lens, necessitating 
placing the heavy camera in a very insecure position on a 
wobbly canoe and approaching the sleepy animals from the 
lake or water-side. After several attempts of this kind I 
decided that the work was too dangerous and it would be 
best if I confined my efforts to the security of terra firma, 
until our '' whale-boat ** arrived from Kasindi. 

Every afternoon, therefore, I would hide in the reeds 
by the lake side near the basking hippos, in the hope that 

ii8 




C A Bull Buffalo of the Cape type shot bv the Aut 



:hor. 



The Lions of Lake Edward 

some of them would approach near enough to the shore 
for a successful picture. Sometimes they did and sometimes 
they didn't, more often the latter, but at all times there was 
a wealth of bird life to observe and so waiting was never 
tedious. On one such occasion I had the good fortune to 
secure a film of the big black-and-white fish-eagle, catching 
and flying away with a big fish. Again, on a never-to-be- 
forgotten day, when arriving at my hiding-place, I was not 
a little astonished to find a solitary old bull buffalo taking 
a bath in the shallows in front of my favourite seat, where 
he lay at full length in the water quite oblivious to my near 
presence. 

Such an opportunity only comes once in a lifetime and 
I took full advantage of it. On making the discovery, I 
slipped back to my camera *' boy '* and adjusting my seven- 
inch lens for close work, I lifted camera and tripod on to 
my shoulder, and returning, managed to " plant '' my camera 
in the very nick of time, just as the buffalo came through 
the reeds and stood dripping with mud and water and licking 
his chops not twenty paces from me. The wind being in 
my direction, this fine old animal took a prolonged stare 
at me, and mistaking what he saw for some harmless brother 
mammal, walked leisurely across my front, picking, as he 
went, at bits of herbage in his path. 

As I consider these splendid African animals finer creations 
than the common ruck of humanity, nobler in many ways, 
cleaner, more graceful and more pleasing to the eye, it is 
with something akin to pity that I have to record the fact 
that when this fine old buffalo passed into the reeds and so 
out of the view of my clicking kine-camera, it was not for 
the last time, and that we were to meet again close to this 

119 



The Eastern Congo 

haunt of his, under less peaceful circumstances, when man, 
backed by his devilish inventions, was to come off victor 
in the encounter. 

It happened in this way. The porters were wanting 
food and needs must have it, so I took my rifle and strolling 
out in my usual direction, again encountered my whilom 
friend of the previous day, shot at and wounded him but 
not so badly that he was unable to escape the subsequent 
chase. Coming back empty-handed therefore, I decided 
to try my luck in the same direction on the following day. 

On this occasion I had stalked a small herd of waterbuck 
and having fired several rounds at the leader of the troop, 
I was suddenly startled by the crash of breaking branches 
a short distance behind me, and on turning round was faced 
again by my redoubtable opponent, who had apparently 
been lying up with his wound in a thicket close at hand and 
was now charging madly towards me. Fortunately, I still 
had a solitary bullet in my rifle, and I lost no time in placing 
it into the on-coming foe. The immediate effect of this 
was not, however, apparent, for although he swerved, it 
did not alter the infuriated animal's intention of getting 
its charge home. Thinking my number was up, I jumped 
aside for dear life and escaped by a hair's breadth the upward 
thrust of the massive head with its wicked horns. The 
charge of the heavy beast carried it some distance beyond 
me, but bringing itself up with a jolt, it was soon nosing 
around with every intention of delivering a second assault. 
By this time, however, I had reloaded, and placing another 
bullet in its shoulder, I was devoutly thankful to see the 
beast lumber away showing every sign this time of being 
vitally hit. When I had collected myself sufficiently to 

120 



The Lions of Lake Edward 

follow him up, I found the old chap at his last gasp and finished 
him off with little difficulty. On examination he proved 
to be very old, of massive proportions, with horns worn 
away almost to the core, and blind in the right eye. To 
the latter fact I consider I owe my life — for it was its right 
horn that missed me ! The beast was rolling in fat, and 
this came in useful for the making of soap, our supply of 
which had run out. 

On the Edward Lake, pelicans and natives fish together. 
In-shore, fish of every description are so numerous that the 
natives practise the most simple form of fishing imaginable. 
This consists of merely walking along in a line in shallow 
water, each with a capacious (i.e. magnified) crab-pot (without 
a bottom) in one hand — which they push down at intervals 
on to the lake mud — and a long spiked stick in the other, 
on which to impale the fish when caught and extracted from 
the top hole of the crab-pot. The pelicans seem to enjoy 
it as much as the fishermen, for they swim in and out between 
the moving line of natives and apparently find a rich harvest 
amongst the disturbed shoals. A hippo or two are frequently 
seen as interested spectators, taking little notice of the ordinary 
savage. They are, however, cunning enough to know the 
red tarbush of the Belgian native soldier when he appears, 
and will then keep at a respectful distance. The Belgians 
have the rather foolish custom of supplying their soldiery 
with a too liberal amount of ammunition, which they shoot 
off at any game they happen to see. 

One evening we were watching the fishing scene I have 
just described when our long-looked-for boat turned up. 
Showing first as a speck out on the lake, it presently resolved 
itself into a twenty-five-foot steel barge-like craft, manned 

121 



I 



The Eastern Congo 

by fourteen Wanandi paddlers. As I had promised our 
Belgian friend Fourget the use of it to take him round to the 
Ruchuru estuary, the following morning therefore saw us 
saying Ion voyage and honne chance to our companion just 
as dawn was breaking. 

Although constantly on the watch for a sight of the 
Ruwenzori Mountains which we knew lay only fifty miles 
to the north, we had not up to this time caught more than 
a fleeting glimpse of them, through the piling banks and 
lines of cloud behind which they seemed to be forever con- 
cealed. On this morning, however, the mantle of clouds 
had fallen away from the higher peaks, and the snow-clad 
summits were unveiled for the first time, showing faintly 
in the far distance as cones of gleaming amber light. 

The sight made us restless to be off, but as we did not 
expect the boat back for three days, we had to possess our- 
selves with what patience we could muster until its return. 
In the interval we busied ourselves with repacking loads 
and collecting specimens of the not very numerous species 
of insects to be found in the locality. 

On the third day we were more than a little pleased to 
see our boat come leisurely paddhng round the point again, 
to the accompaniment of a cheery boating song from the 
dusky crew. That night we paid off our remaining porters 
and stowed away our kit in the roomy barge, ready for an 
early start the following morning, both our followers and 
ourselves being in great spirits at the thought of the new 
scenes and new faces that lay before us. 

(I had almost forgotten to say that we received a letter 
from Fourget by the boat, telling us that he had shot a 
hippo en route to the Ruchuru estuary, and that on landing 

122 




Ph.Sx3 
O ^^ 0) 



o t« 

be 









^ "^ £ 

w a; O 
bC v-i ^ 

5 '^ o 

p s =« 

: S^ 

H 
.^c o 

- c >-. 




< 



d. The Giant Ferns to be found on the 
Western Slopes of the Ruwenzori Mountains. 



The Lions of Lake Edward 

at Kabare village and having gone out to shoot a buck with 
his famous ex-askari, he had seen a troop of ten lions, two 
of which he reported as having wounded. But like Cecil 

\ Rhodes' favourite lion yarn, we took this cum grano salts. 

' The great man's lion story will doubtless bear repetition, 
so I give the gist of it, which is as follows : A native, as he 
walked out one day, met a lion, and seeing that it was about 
to spring on him watched his opportunity, and diving beneath 
it, managed to escape. The native continued to evade the 
infuriated beast in this manner until the lion, becoming 
tired of its fruitless efforts to capture the wily savage, gave 
up in disgust and retreated to its lair. The following day 
the native was again out walking and suddenly turning the 
comer of the path came once more on his old enemy, but 
this time the lion was too preoccupied to notice him, for 
he was intently engaged on practising short jumps !) 

On the morning of the twenty-seventh of November, 
1919, we were all aboard the baleiniere, which we temporarily 
christened the Betty in honour of my intrepid spouse, and 
with our tent as awning, and baggage, boys and two native 
policemen with their wives stowed away aft, we punted and 
paddled northward along the wild western shore of the 
Edward Lake. 

The scenery bordering the western shore of this lake 
has a quality quite its own, and I do not remember to have 
seen anything resembling it along the shores of other African 
lakes I have visited. The foreshore is of a rocky descrip- 
tion backed by a thick line of evergreen forest trees and 
giant creepers of the rarer kinds, whilst behind this belt 
of greenery tower the steep spurs of the Rift Mountains. 
These belts of tropical foHage along the lake harbour an 

123 



The Eastern Congo 

interesting species of baboon, which from individuals we 
observed must be of gorilla-Uke dimensions. 

The coast is uninhabited except by a few fishermen, 
who have built their villages in some of the small creeks. 
As one approaches the outlet of the Semliki River, the Rift 
Valley Mountains take an abrupt turn to the west, leaving 
the lake enclosed only by the low flats that form the southern 
half of the vale of the Semliki. Here are found a few in- 
habitants of not too pleasant notoriety. 

One may describe the Semliki valley as an extensive 
flat-bottomed gap between the Central African Rift Valley 
Mountains on the one hand and the Ruwenzori range on 
the other, which, from evidences showing on every hand, 
at one time formed a narrow extension of Lake Edward.* 
The mouth of the Semliki is not easily seen, for it is over- 
grown with reeds formed on a sand-bar lying athwart the 
outlet, and the current is barely perceptible. 

From a little village near the Semliki mouth it took 
five hours' paddling to reach Kasindi on the Uganda-Congo 
frontier, where we were welcomed by Monsieur Ballez, the 
customs officer in charge of the station. We stood at last 
beneath the " Mountains of the Moon " after six months 
of strenuous travel. 

* It is curious, when one considers the fact, that crocodiles being so numerous 
in the lower part of the Semhki, have never been found in Lake Edward ; 
and yet such is the case, as every native will tell you. It is said to be due to|j 
the rapids which exist below Lese. But I am of the opinion there must be j 
some other reason to account for the entire absence of crocodiles from Lakejf 
Edward. 



124 



I 



I 



CHAPTER X 

IN THE VALLEY OF THE UPPER SEMLIKI AND THE ASCENT OF 
THE RUWENZORI MOUNTAINS 

" These for the setting ; and, beneath it all, 
Tattered and scarred, 
My tent, set up in some wide glade, where tall 
Dim trees keep guard. 
* * * * 

*' So, in a silence of the early world, 
I sit and gaze 
upon the pictures, open and tmfiirled 
Amid the haze." 

In the Smoke. Verses III and V. 

HAVING reached Kasindi, which stands just below 
the equator on the southern foot of the Ruwenzori 
Mountains, we were now approaching that Mecca of 
entomologists and zoologists — the vast primeval forest, that, 
bounded on the east by this mountain range, extends from 
the Semliki valley right across the entire centre of the Northern 
Congo Basin, and the equal of which is only to be found in 
the selvas of the Amazon. 

Few portions of the African continent remain unexplored 
to-day, but here we were on the borders of the still unknown 
region which lies to the south-east of Kasindi, and roughly 
forming that piece of country drained by the higher waters 
of the Lindi River directly to the west of Lake Edward, 
a district given over to wild cannibal tribes known as the 
Bahuni and Wakobi, and which is, judging by reports brought 
in by elephant hunters and prospectors who have visited 
its outskirts, certainly rich in gold, as well as in cattle and 
ivory. 

125 



I 



The Eastern Congo I 



We were fortunate at this juncture in meeting with Mr 
Gibbons, a hardy Uganda settler and elephant-hunter, who 
had just completed a ten-months' hunting trip in the Ituri 
Forest and the long-grass country bordering the land of 
the Bahuni, and who therefore had a lot of useful informa- 
tion to impart, besides entertaining us both with many in- 
teresting tales of the wild life he had led since first visiting 
Africa, thirty years ago. He had with him many fine tusks 
of elephants, shot both in the long-grass country and in 
the virgin forest, the difference in the colour of the ivory 
being very striking. For, whereas the tusks from the former 
region were of the ordinary creamy-white colour, those 
from the forest were of such a dark brown as to be almost 
black ; then again there were tusks intermediate between 
these two colours, shot in a district where the long-grass 
country borders on the forest. Although I suppose this 
" black '' ivory must be well known to ivory turners and 
brokers, I have seen no mention of it elsewhere, therefore 
a few other notes will be found concerning it in the chapter 
on elephants farther on in this book. 

To the fact that Mr. Gibbons was the first Englishman 
we had met since leaving Kigoma in July, and also owing 
to the extreme kindness of Monsieur Ballez, the Belgian 
customs of&cer, postmaster, J. P., policeman and tax-collector 
rolled into one, our short stay at Kasindi passed very 
pleasantly, but so much does the nomadic life get into the 
blood that we were pleased to be thinking about moving 
on once more — to feel again the *' fever of the horizon,'' as 
some other traveller has so aptly called it. 

It was now the beginning of December and the season of 
the heavy rains approaching. We had to submit at intervals 

126 




S-2 2 



. o K 



H ^ o 

.N ^ 




©. The snow-clad Peaks of the Ruwenzori Mountains. From 
Uhnibi, looking across the Valley of the Kamsonsa. 
In this Valley lies the Lake described on page 
142. (Note in the foreground the giant Senecios.) 



The Ruwenzori Mountains 

to tornadoes of wind and rain that made travelling far from 
comfortable, but as these usually occurred in the afternoon 
one was pretty safe from their fury so long as camp was fixed 
before then. During our stay at Kasindi we had of course 
been longing to get a good view of those great snow peaks 
that we knew to be hidden in the thick clouds above us, 
but owing to the stormy weather and the position of Kasindi 
this we had not yet done. I was moreover anxious to push 
on with all speed to Mbeni, from which place I hoped to 
make the ascent of the Ruwenzori Mountains before the 
heavy rains set in. Thus, there were several reasons that 
made us glad that we were on the tramp again, when with 
our new '' safari " we found ourselves dropping down, from 
the high ridge on which the post of Kasindi stands, to the 
banks of the Semliki River. 

The Semliki, which carries off the overflow from Lake 
Edward and following a winding course joins up this lake 
with Lake Albert, is a river little known to any save a few 
hunters and travellers by reason of its remoteness, and to 
the fear of what a bite from one of the tsetse flies that 
abound in its valley, may bring. This most dreaded of all 
African scourges, which decimated the population of this 
district during the commencement of the last decade, flies 
abroad along its sinister euphorbia-covered banks and in 
its fevered palm-hung swamps. However, like all such 
places in Africa, the valley holds by the very nature of its 
surroundings a great deal that is interesting and beautiful, 
and even fascinating, as one looks back upon it. 

Where we crossed the river it was a good hundred yards 
broad, with banks of great height cut out of the surrounding 
plains, which at one time doubtless formed a bygone lake 

127 



The Eastern Congo 

floor, the formation resembling that of the Ruindi Plains. 
After getting our loads across with the help of the one available 
canoe, we camped on the west bank of the river, some twelve 
miles below the lake mouth ; the site selected for our camp 
commanding an extensive broadside view of the Ruwenzori 
mountain range, should it condescend to show itself. In 
the evening I took my rifle and went for a stroll in search 
of a kob antelope, and having stalked and shot one I turned 
to look for my natives who were behind to give them instruc- 
tions about bringing it into camp, when my attention was 
caught and riveted by the enchanting picture, suddenly 
revealed for the first time, of the snow-capped summits of 
Ruwenzori, glistening white and ethereal high up in the 
eastern skies. A clear view of the line of snow-peaks and 
glaciers that form the summit of these mountains is a com- 
paratively rare occurrence, and as the range rises on the 
western side almost sheer from the level of the Semliki 
valley, the spectator is somewhat taken aback by his first 
view of them and the astonishing height to which they 
reach. After my return to camp, however, this feast 
of mountain scenery did not remain long to gladden 
the eye, for the peaks were soon again wrapped in mist, 
leaving as before, only the lower ranges exposed to 
view. 

At this camp, as on the Ruindi plains, the night was 
enlivened at intervals by the prolonged chorus of lions, a 
sound of which we never tired, and coming as it did on this 
occasion from the direction that I had decided to take on 
the morrow, it promised an interesting day. 

The following morning our course for the first six miles 
took us south up the west bank of the Semliki, and although 

128 



The Ruwenzori Mountains 

small game were not very abundant, herds of elephant 
were frequently to be seen and were, moreover, quite un- 
suspicious of the approach of man. The spot selected for 
our camp that day proved to be a veritable menagerie of 
elephant, buffalo and hippo, and on one occasion we were 
favoured by the novel spectacle of witnessing from the bank 
of the Semliki a herd of elephant, three hippo and an old 
bull " buff " in the water together. We watched the latter 
come down the bank, wade into mid-stream, then, lazily 
swimming down in amongst the hippo who snorted loudly 
at him, he presently came out again — dripping ; and slowly 
walked away across the plain. 

For the next two days we saw these fine animals daily 
and as all were unusually tame I obtained some good pictures 
of them. Lions were about but these were only heard. 

I now turned northward away from Lake Edward and 
moved along the western side of the Semliki valley. The 
track we took closely followed the foothills of the Rift 
Valley Mountains that gradually lessen in height as one 
approached Mbeni and which here form the boundary of that 
unknown Bahuni country, with the lawlessness of which, 
so far, the Belgians have been unable to cope. That this 
state of things should remain, after so many years of occupa- 
tion and after the many lawless acts perpetrated by these 
savages, still stands as a blot on the Belgian administration. 

Parts of the bush through which we now travelled on our 
way to Mbeni were pebble-strewn and others again boggy, 
as one would expect to find the bed of a one-time lake. The 
country, too, is overgrown with acacia thorn trees, which 
at the time we passed by were in full bloom ; the pink, white 
and yellow blossoms overcharging, with their heavy perfume, 

129 K 



The Eastern Congo 

the already stifling atmosphere.* This part of the valley 
is but sparsely inhabited and food is difficult to obtain but 
the natives, such as there are, are ruled by Bahima chiefs 
who possess some fine herds of cattle, so we were again able 
to procure butter and milk. 

The day before reaching Mbeni we took up our quarters 
for the night in one of the brick buildings attached to the 
sleeping-sickness hospital. The hospital, which I under- 
stand was built partly with the money from a legacy left 
by King Leopold II and partly by subscriptions obtained 
for the purpose by the Queen of the Belgians, consists of 
many rows of double roomed tin-roofed huts, dispensaries, 
kitchens, and out-houses, as well as a good doctor's residence 
on the hill above. The place is now in a state of some neglect 
as it is in charge of a black overseer — there being no doctor 
available. There were thirty- three cases of sleeping-sickness 
at the hospital, but as the work of taking blood-smears 
and searching the villages for infected natives is no longer 
carried out, this number is no criterion of the prevalence 
or otherwise of this scourge. The disease is in fact on the 
decrease in this district and the time opportune to strangle 
the last bit of life out of the dying germ, if a little interest 
and energy were once again revived in the combat. Whereas, 
if left as it is now, this plague may well recur again in as 
violent a form as previously. 

One day, in the gradual opening up of this part of the 
continent, the waterway of the Semliki will play an important 
part, but whilst its banks are *' fly " infested its use for this 

* It is well known to many Central African natives as well as myself that 
camping under some species of acacia trees results in feverish symptoms the 
following morning, and is therefore to be avoided. 



130 



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I 



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The Ruvvenzori Mountains 

purpose will be dangerous. The suggestion of spraying 
chlorine gas over the vegetation on either bank from a barge 
on the river, may then be tried as a likely means of destroying 
the dangerous Palpalis tsetse fly, the carrier of the fatal 
germ. 

The Belgian post of Mbeni, situated on the outskirts 
of the Semliki forest, is some two hours away from the 
liospital. Here again are evidences of the under-staffing 
so noticeable in the Congo of to-day, for the work of this 
important station — the centre of a well-populated district 
and of a brisk trade in ivory, is carried out by one man. 
One cannot help admiring some of these men, administering 
single-handed, as they do, a district as large as two of our 
biggest counties. Alone amidst utterly savage tribes, the 
nearest helping hand perhaps fifty miles away, they carry 
on, undertaking every conceivable task from drill-sergeant 
to maternity doctor. 

This one-man-to-do-everything method has become a 
joke in the Congo about which a yarn is told of a certain 
Belgian Chef de Poste who happened to have lost an eye and 
was accustomed to wear a glass one in its place. This 
man was in sole command of a big district and his work of 
tax-collecting took him away from home. In his absence 
his house and effects were of course left in charge of his 
native servants, with the usual result in such cases that a 
considerable amount of petty thieving went on in his absence. 
For a time he was at a loss to know how to stop this, but 
realising the superstitious nature of the savage, it occurred 
to him one day when he was about to leave the station 
that he would travel without his glass eye, and instead he 
would place it in a prominent position within his house. 

131 



The Eastern Congo 

This he accordingly did and after telling his black dependants 
that now, if any more pilfering went on, his watchful glass 
eye would tell him who the culprit was, he left on his rounds 
through the district. It is said that on his return not only 
had nothing been taken from his house but no one had dared 
venture near the place to sweep it, and the white ants were 
thoroughly enjoying an undisturbed feed on his best boots. 
This was a truly African ending to such an experiment, 
for, at the end, Africa holds the last card ! 

The official in charge of Mbeni being such a busy man it 
was not to be expected that the place would present a very 
smart and well-kept appearance ; we were, however, made 
very comfortable there in the best house in the place and 
all our wants quickly attended to in the most kindly manner. 
The post of Mbeni having been established thirty years ago, 
has a history reaching back into the days of the Arab slavers 
when a man carried his life in his hand. 

Here are buried the remains of Lieutenant Demanie, 
after the cannibal Bahuni had picked his bones. The tale 
goes that in the early days, he, together with sixty askaris, 
made a reconnaissance to the south of Mbeni and were 
camped for the night on a small river on the outskirts of the 
hostile country. It is said that a good deal of native beer 
had been drunk by the native soldiers ; however, be that 
as it may, they were set upon by a horde of savages in the 
early hours of the morning and were speared as they lay, 
only one man escaping to tell the tale. After the slaughter 
a cannibal orgy must have taken place, for parts of the 
bodies had been cut up and removed, and amongst the 
remains were found all that was left to bury of Lieutenant 
Demanie. Sad to relate this officer's death has never been 

132 



The Ruwenzori Mountains 

avenged and to this day the perpetrators of this deed remain 
unpunished and defiant, as they were twenty years ago. 

Again Mbeni was the scene of the murder of a Belgian 
officer as late as 1918 by one of his own soldiers, and here 
also the Okapi was first discovered twenty years ago by 
that keen naturalist and observer. Sir Harry Johnston, when 
on a visit to the district. The surrounding country is also 
one of the best elephant hunting grounds remaining in Africa 
to-day, tusks weighing a hundred pounds and over being 
still obtainable by the hardy hunter. 

Two days after my arrival at Mbeni I commenced pre- 
parations for the ascent of the Ruwenzori Mountains, the 
summits of which in the evening light gleamed golden and 
unreal, overshadowing, as it seemed — even at a distance of 
twenty miles — the valley below us. As one stood in con- 
templation of the surrounding wealth of nature, the great 
volcanoes to the south, Ruwenzori to the east, and the 
limitless forests to the west, with all they contained, a 
quotation occurred to me from '* The Great Divide " by the 
Earl of Dunraven which, although written of the Rockies 
is equally applicable to the heart of Africa in which we were. 
For here also '' is a region, which contains all the peculiarities 
of the continent in a remarkable degree and which, moreover, 
is exceedingly interesting on account of its scenery, geo- 
graphy, its mineralogy and its sport. There it is that great 
rivers rise, running through every clime from perpetual snow 
to tropical heat." One thought that certainly this is the 
geographical centre of Africa, yet another '' Great Divide ! '* 

In a day or two I had gathered all the local information 
possible from my good friends the Peres Cambron and Lens 
of the Sacre Coeur Mission, and had completed arrangements, 

133 



The Eastern Congo 



including the purchase of blankets for those natives who 
were to accompany me to the snow Hne. My porters 
too and headmen, having been selected with some care, 
I had every chance of bringing off a successful excursion 
if the weather would only remain fine. 

The Ruwenzori peaks, which rise to a height of 16,790 
feet, have been partially climbed by Sir Harry Johnston, 
Douglas Freshfield, the Duke of the Abruzzi and others 
from the north-east, and from the south by Stairs, Scott- 
Elliot, Dr. Stuhlmann and J. E. S. Moore, but from the west 
few attempts have been made. The great explorers selected 
the eastern side, as here the rise to the watershed itself is 
more gradual, the ascent from the west being very steep. 
However my entomological work left me no alternative 
but to accept the formidable climb from the Congo side, 
and for this purpose it became evident that the Butahu 
(or Butagu) Ravine, where the river of that name debouches 
from the foot of the range, would be the most suitable. This 
deep ravine, which runs into the heart of the Ruwenzori 
Mountains, can be easily discerned from many points on 
the upper Semliki as a dark cleft in the mountain mass. 

My sturdy Wanandi porters having turned up for the 
last muster, their loads were soon adjusted, and four days 
after my arrival at Mbeni, I found myself bound for the 
Mountains of the Moon, and with my long butterfly net 
waving a farewell to my wife. 

The Butahu River, which has its source in the summit! 
glaciers of Ruwenzori, falls into the Semhki near Mbeni, 
and the track to the mountains after crossing the latter 
river follows the Butahu pretty closely all the way. As the] 
days turned out sunny after the morning forest mists ha( 

134 







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The Ruwenzori Mountains 

dispersed, my collecting work was of a strenuous nature, 
this part of the Semliki forest being extraordinarily rich 
in insect life. I, therefore, travelled very slowly, taking 
three days to reach the mountains, being engaged each night 
up to the early hours in papering insects. 

On my arrival at the foot of the mountain range, I rested 
one day in the village of the local chieftain to obtain a supply 
of food and the necessary guides to take me up to the last 
mountain village of Kalongi. The promise of a blanket 
to the chief soon had the desired result and by the evening 
two men had promised their services and we had accumulated 
a fair supply of food, mostly bananas from the huge groves 
that here cover the country for many square miles. 

From the commencement, where the sparkling waters 
of the Butahu River tumble out from their rocky bed beneath 
the first steep spurs, the ascent is very fatiguing, with but 
little respite from the long interwoven elephant-grass and 
giant roots, that stick in the ribs or trip the feet of the traveller 
who essays the unrelenting climb. 

After some hours of this kind of thing I arrived at the 
first stage of the ascent and camped on a high bluff that here 
forms one side of a giant gorge, at the foot of which, far 
below, foams our old friend the Butahu. Perched alongside 
my tent was the solitary hut of a black mountaineer, who 
was engaged with his friends, or relations, in cutting down 
and clearing a forest of immense wild plantains to form a 
plantation for beans, which seem to be, with bananas, the 
staple food of these natives. To make sure that the food- 
supply would not run out, both at this camp and the next, 
I bought all the food that my guides could rake in from the 
hillmen round about. 

135 



The Eastern Congo 

Getting an early start on the following morning, we con- 
tinued to clamber up the throat of the ravine, until the tiny 
village of Kalongi was reached at 7,400 feet above sea level. 
These huts, situated in the bamboo zone, are perched at 
the foot of the central mass of the Ruwenzori Mountains, 
and are the last habitations to be found before tackling 
the heather-clad slopes that tower into the clouds above 
them. 

Having to make preparations for the four or five days 
that I wished to spend under the snow-clad summits, I now 
selected fifteen of my best porters to carry the necessary 
loads to a saddle that could be discerned high above us, and 
on which I proposed to make a half-way camp. There were 
eight loads of food and a big tent for the porters ; the re- 
maining men were to carry my tent, bed, blankets, food, 
cameras, etc. My cook and one native collector were to 
accompany me. By night-fall all was ready for an early 
start the following day ; the weather, on which so much 
depended, fortunately remained fine. 

So far, we had followed the steep-sided embrasure of the 
Butahu Ravine, but the next morning, after sending my 
three new Kalongi guides to cut a path in advance, we struck 
off to the north at right angles. This took us along the 
sharp-crested spur that divides the Kanyamwamba from 
the Kamsonsa River and which runs up, at a very steep 
angle, to the foot of the lesser peaks facing the central massif 
of Ruwenzori, and so on up to my proposed camping place. 

At first the narrow track wound through the bamboos 
but presently came out into a sub-alpine region. Here 
the heather brush-wood stands ten to twelve feet high for 
the most part and alternates with older patches, tree-like 

136 






The Ruwenzori Mountains 

in growth, with stems many inches in diameter, hung with 
waving hchens a yard or more in length. The ground 
beneath is covered knee-deep in the most wonderful pink 
and green mosses, through which we struggled with increasing 
difficulty. I may say here that both my guides and carriers 
led me to believe that water was scarce on the mountain- 
side, and this is in part true if the sponge-like mosses are 
not reckoned with. Handfuls of these beautiful growths 
will produce half a pint of water at one squeeze, so no fear 
need be felt on this score. 

As I struggled and stumbled, pushed and pulled my way 
up through the rough heather stems, it became evident that 
the track I was following, although overgrown, had been 
made and used by some previous travellers, therefore after 
some hours' climbing, eased by frequent halts to get my 
breath, I was not surprised to find myself in an old camping 
place, situated on the saddle that I had seen from below, 
the elevation of which was about ten thousand feet. I had 
now reached the foot of the secondary peaks that surround 
the snow-capped summits of the range, and at intervals 
when the swirling mist cleared, these could be seen — after 
all our climbing — still thousands of feet above us. Towards 
evening the mist cleared entirely, giving me an opportunity 
to photograph portions of the snow-cap. 

As the site of this camping place was the bed of a primeval 
heather and moss forest, the two tents stood on a kind of 
superstructure formed by accumulated layers of ancient 
heather stems and moss pads, which at any moment might 
give way beneath the tread and let one through into deep 
holes beneath. Some of my natives in fact used, as a sleeping 
place, a kind of burrow or cave formed below this mass of 



The Eastern Congo 

old vegetation, preferring it to the big tent I had been at 
such pains to erect for them, and from which I named the 
place Big Tent Camp. 

I now selected eight of the strongest men from my bunch 
of carriers and instructed them to be ready the following 
morning to accompany me on the last climb to the top of 
Ulimbi Mountain, supplying each with a blanket apiece. 
The night was cold, but by no means uncomfortably so, 
and although the day dawned mistily as is usual at these 
elevations, there was promise of fine weather in the snatches 
of sunlight to be seen, as we ploughed our way up the last 
increasingly steep ascent. 

A heather fire is the last thing, as I thought, that would 
have to be encountered in this damp and cold region, but 
as in Africa it is the unexpected that has to be looked for, 
this is what occurred and nearly proved our undoing. 

Being careful to husband the strength of my remaining 
porters and the morning being extremely cold and misty, 
I allowed them at frequent intervals during the ascent, to 
light fires of heather sticks and warm themselves. I was, 
therefore, a considerable distance ahead of my men and had 
just reached a most wonderful alpine garden of senecios 
and lobelias, and, this being the first of its kind I had ever 
seen, stood examining the beautiful foliage, oblivious to all 
else, until I became aware of what I took to be the roar of 
the wind. Not taking much notice of this at first and having 
my net with me, I set about catching some of the diurnal 
moths that abound here and whilst thus engaged I caught 
sight for the first time, of a sheet of flame and smoke below, 
which, fanned by the strong wind was tearing up the slope 
towards me, making the crackling roar that I took to be 

138 




^3- 



The Ruwenzori Mountains 

the wind itself. Realising the cause in the fires made by 
the porters, and the danger that threatened in their wake, 
I and the cook (it's always " the cook " in Africa) who had 
turned up at that moment, made the best of our way back 
through the heather to encourage the men to reach the 
green and open senecio zone, where the heather finishes 
and beyond which the fire would be unlikely to spread. 

The porters, now realising their danger, clambered along 
for all they were worth, and being lightly loaded managed 
to reach safety. But only just in time, for shortly after- 
wards the fire came roaring by, licking up the giant heathers 
with flames that reached to twenty feet and more. It 
spread, as I found out afterwards, right into the fields of 
senecios and lobelias above us, leaving everything withered 
and smoking ; the tall plant stalks alone remained, gaunt 
and black against the sky. 

We came off lightly, considering the extent of the con- 
flagration, with one carrier burnt, holes in various garments 
and one butterfly-net damaged. 

It was now after 3 p.m. and what with the excitement 
of the fire and the stiff climbing, the porters were tired out. 
I therefore gave instructions to one of my headmen to 
pitch the tents where we were amidst the senecios, and to 
collect all the firewood available ; meanwhile, with the 
guides, I determined to gain the last ridge that I knew must 
now lie within reach. 

Accordingly I set out and whilst ascending the last slope, 
known as Ulimbi, I was able to reaHse the full extent of the 
recent fire, as I passed the blackened remains of what were, 
a few hours since, glorious meadows of giant groundsels and 
lobelias. However, I was soon over the burnt portion and 

139 



The Eastern Congo j 



found myself crossing, in the direction indicated by the 
guides, the most wonderful alpine moor that can well be 
conceived. The groups of fantastic vegetation gave me 
the novel feeling that I had dropped on to some new planet, 
Mars, as it might be, who knows ? 

Unless there is a very clear sky, which is an exceptional 
occurrence at this elevation, the snow-clad massifs of the 
Ruwenzori Mountains in their entirety remain unrevealed 
to the hardy climber until the very last ridge is mounted 
and the last bush turned — as if the Mountains of the Moon 
were loth to reveal their secret. But to the traveller w^ho 
has the fortitude and good luck to gain the last eminence on 
which I now stood there is a sight to be seen worthy the 
effort. For one reaches the edge of a precipice and gazes 
across a dark and narrow valley at an unequalled panorama 
of glistening glaciers and mighty snow-caps, their whiteness 
enhanced by black projections of rock and ridge ; this too, 
framed in a setting of senecios and lobelias, everlasting flowers 
and alpine plants of many species ! 

In spite of the approaching mist I at once set about the 
work of getting both my cinema and stand camera in position, 
but as a fall of snow and sleet commenced shortly after, 
driven by a gale off the snow-fields above us, my time was 
wasted, and I packed up and prepared to return to camp. 
On my way thither, the guides led me to a lower eminence 
where lay two corked bottles and one glass tube. On examina- 
tion, one bottle and the tube contained records of visits 
made by one Englishman (Mr. J. S. Coates of the Anglo- 
Belgian Boundary Commission, 1907) ; three Belgians — Mons. 
Dierkz, Chef de Poste, Kasindi, Pere Lens of Mbeni and 
an ornithologist, name undecipherable ; and two Germans, 

140 



The Ruwenzori Mountains 

Drs. Schubotz and Nildbraed of the Duke of Mecklenburg's 
Expedition, 1908. The second bottle, although strongly- 
corked, contained a small amount of water in which floated 
what had once been a piece of paper ; how such an amount 
of water accumulated in one bottle and not in another it 
is difficult to say. 

After nearly losing ourselves in the dark, the two guides 
and myself finally arrived at the camp and much to my 
chagrin I then found that the carriers had collected little 
or no firewood, and neither had my instructions been carried 
out with regard to the canvas covering I had brought for 
the men : this lay flapping in the wind, affording no kind of 
protection in the event of a blizzard. Luckily this night 
w^as fine, but if we had then experienced the hail-storm that 
set upon us the following night, without doubt every man 
would have been frozen to death. As it was, the early part 
of the night saw the fire- wood all finished, with the result 
that two of the carriers were unable to move in the morning, 
in spite of their blanket coverings, and had to receive stimu- 
lants to bring them round. 

Although not realising it at the time, this was Christmas 
Eve, and it passed uneventfully, save for the attentions 
of a large fox-bat around my tent and the prolonged booming 
of an avalanche or landslide in the valley near by. 

Christmas Day can be spent midst snow and ice, even on 
the equator, by those who would wish it. It was no plan 
of mine that I did so on this occasion — it just happened, 
and as the climbing of the Ruwenzori Mountains was in a 
way the culminating point of the expedition, I took it as a 
good omen. The day turned out fairly fine, although it 
was not until eleven o'clock that the mists began to clear, 

141 



The Eastern Congo 



necessitating a wait of many hours to obtain sufficient illu- 
mination for good photography. About midday the sun began 
to show himself and I was able to obtain, for the first time, an 
uninterrupted view down into the near valley, at the foot of 
Mount Stanley and across the larger one that separates the 
Baker range from that of the Margherita and Stanley peaks. 

That morning I had again crossed the moor but by a 
shorter route, and stood on a lower ledge of the narrow and 
precipitous valley of the Kamsonsa that I had reached the 
afternoon before. Here I descried, for the first time, buried 
in the depths of the valley, a very gem of a lake, the glaciers 
feeding its black and mysterious waters being mirrored on 
its motionless surface ; a lake which is held in great reverence, 
so I am told, by the local hillmen. 

After an early breakfast that morning, I had sent the 
carriers down to the Big Tent encampment with my camp- 
kit, keeping with me three guides and two porters. $ 

At this altitude of over thirteen thousand feet these 
men were all affected with mountain sickness, three badly 
so, in the rarified morning air. One of the local guides, 
a strapping big fellow, was affected to such an extent that 
he could only get his breath in gasps, and being on this 
account quite useless I sent him down the mountain after 
the other porters. I, myself, felt this difficulty of breathing, 
but much less than the natives and for a time I was compelled 
to carry my heavy kine-camera, as they appeared to be 
unable to do so. After using up the greater part of my cine- 
matograph film and exposing a number of plates on the snow- 
peaks and the surrounding alpine flora, I was able to give 
further attention to my surroundings which were of the 
utmost interest. 

142 



The Ruwenzori Mountains 

As one's gaze took in the comparatively easy ascent of 
the snow-capped summits from this quarter, it struck one 
as curious that the scaUng and exploration of the great peaks 
had always been undertaken from the east side of the range, 
for without doubt no great difficulties present themselves, 
from where I stood, to an expedition equipped with the barest 
necessities for a short alpine climb. 

Insect life in these charming solitudes was fairly abundant, 
but much to my disappointment not a single butterfly graced 
the scene. Birds too were conspicuous by their absence, 
with the one handsome exception of pairs, male and female, 
of the beautiful long-tailed and long-beaked Nectarina 
johnstonii, feeding on the lobelia flowers. Neither eagles nor 
hawks were to be seen, although, judging by their small 
burrows, a small rodent was common. I had hoped to come 
across some of the large flowering proteas similar to those 
found on Kilimanjaro but saw none ; otherwise there was 
a mine of interest for the botanist. 

The afternoon being now well advanced, to my great 
regret I had to think about returning to the Big Tent camp 
if I was to reach it before dark. If I had had more food for 
my men nothing would have given me greater delight than 
to spend a week in exploring these unknown solitudes, but 
as it was, not only the food question but the special ento- 
mological work on which I was engaged would not admit 
of a longer stay and I had, therefore, reluctantly and with 
many a backward look to turn my steps downhill. As I 
and my four followers commenced the descent, the ominous 
growlings of distant thunder made themselves heard, and 
the sky being now overcast it behoved us to hurry on if 
we were to reach the lower camp before the storm broke. 

143 



The Eastern Congo 

The downward track through the burnt heather was now 
easily discernible after the passing of the porters up and 
down, but nevertheless, and in spite of my putting my best 
foot foremost, I was only able to make slow progress down 
the steep moss-covered crags : with the result that the storm 
reached me some time before I sighted the camp, and broke 
in a fury of heavy hail, that rattled on the heather round 
about in an icy tornado. In less than no time the innumerable 
cavities and depressions in the moss round about were filled 
with hailstones as big as pea-nuts. 

In the middle of this tempest I gained at sundown the! 
welcome shelter of the tents, and was soon getting outside 
a jorum of hot coffee and cognac. My four men, handicapped ' 
by the heavy cameras and tripod were not so fortunate, 
and only three turned up an hour later ; the remaining man ' 
with the heavy kine-camera being unable to reach us until 
eleven o'clock that night. When darkness set in I began 
to have grave doubts concerning the safety of the fellow and 
the storm abating somewhat I turned out two men, clad 
in blankets and carrying a lantern, to go and search for him. 
After much calling, some hours later, he was found under 
a large boulder and eventually brought down ; the camera 
case was soaked through with wet but otherwise had come 
to no great harm. Thus ended Christmas day on Ruwenzori ! 

The night that followed was bitterly cold and only by 
piling over myself every available material that I possessed 
could I keep warm ; occasionally I hugged myself with 
satisfaction at the thought that all my aims had been success- 
fully accomplished and that it only remained for me now to 
rejoin my wife at Mbeni. 

In the morning, hailstones still covered the ground and 

144 



The Ruwenzori Mountains 

could be picked up in handfuls. Before leaving, it was 
interesting to note that my followers, to a man, picked little 
bunches of heather and other plants, in the same way as a 
European might, to bring luck or guard against evil. It 
may even be that in the remote past this superstition, held 
by both black and white alike, sprang from one source — the 
monkey-man of Equatorial Africa. 

So now it was '' all over bar the shouting. *' Ruwenzori 
had not altogether let me down lightly, as I had been hailed, 
snowed and rained upon, and nearly burnt up. I was, 
however, amply compensated, for I had made a fine collection 
of insects, my pictures turned out well, and I had obtained 
a unique cinematograph film of the snow-peaks and their 
alpine surroundings. 

Collecting insects en route, I slowly returned to Mbeni 
in time for a New Year celebration ; having been absent 
thirteen days. 



145 



CHAPTER XI 

OKAPI HUNTING WITH THE PYGMIES OF THE SEMLIKI FOREST 

" Fronting us lay a patch of tender est green 
With tiny, dotted huts of sober grey — 
Most quaintly Quaker-like amid a scene 

Where all the rest wore Nature's fete array. 
And girls with swaddled babies on their backs 
Passed and repassed along the forest tracks." 

From " Songs out of Exile," by Cullen Gouldsbury. 

THE far-reaching extent of the Ituri forest protrudes 
a small part of its eastern boundary over the Congo- 
Nile watershed, into the central portion of the narrow 
Semliki valley below. The southern boundary of this forest 
area stands without the gates, as it were, of the Belgian post 
of Mbeni, so we found ourselves almost immediately beneath 
its cool shade as we left this station to resume our travels. 
We now entered the portals of the vast forest region of 
West Africa — a vegetable kingdom that was to hold us in 
its embrace for over four months. A region that affects 
profoundly all human or animal life within it ; whose sombre 
shade breeds the dark germ of cannibalism, and unhinging i 
minds only half-human, conceives such monstrosities as the 
Leopard sect of the Anyioto or the burial murders of the ' 
Baluba ; a region, too, that distorts the stature and pales 
the face of nature. Here the world is buried in grotesque 
growths ; a plant world where giant and majestic trees jostle 
one another for breathing space, where a continuous war is being 
waged and living, dead, and dying trees litter the battlefield i 
— some standing, others fallen, but all in the deadly embrace ' 
of elegant and fantastic parasites of fern and liana. 

146 



I Okapi Hunting 

The fact that the rarest insects and the rarest animals 
may usually be found together, induced me to take a north- 
easterly direction from Mbeni, up on to the Congo-Nile water- 
f shed, where the Ibima and Itoa Rivers have their source and 
where that shiest of all animals the okapi {Ocapia johnstonii) 
is to be found, a skin of which I had hopes of adding to my 
collection. 

After three days the winding forest track led us up to 
the village of a Wanandi chief called Moera, a cunning old 
rascal, who in his younger days has been a blood-thirsty 
'5 villain; but to-day his village has become the centre from 
" which many a hunt for the okapi has been set afoot by big 
^ game sportsmen, adventurers, and museum collectors from 
^^^ all over the world, in fact ever since the existence of the 
^^* animal was first discovered in this part of the forest by 
"^ Sir Harry Johnston. Old Moera has a thin veneer of civiliza- 
^y\ tion due to his contact with white men, but this is scarcely 
'o'' skin deep and, as Pere Lens afterwards explained, what he 
and his rival cannibal chiefs had done, and in some cases 
still did, would not bear print. Our friend the Catholic 
f^^^ Father knew more than he would tell, for later when he 
stayed with us in our camp he persistently refused to 
shake hands with Moera, counting him as quite beyond 
the pale of friendship. To see the chief's efforts to in- 
duce the Father to shake hands with him were ludicrous ; 
his importunities were, however, quite unavailing on this 
occasion. 

As Moera's village stands right on the watershed and the 
forest has been cut away round about, glimpses of the Congo 
slope on the one side, and the deep Semliki valley on the 
other, can be obtained. We made our camp on the edge 

147 



The Eastern Congo 

of the surrounding banana plantations, and within the barri- 
cade of giant trees felled one across the other as a protection 
for the plantations against raiding elephants. 

The old chief had received news of our coming and must 
have looked upon us as *' pigeons to be plucked/' for after 
meeting him and at the subsequent palaver nothing under two 
trusses of calico would tempt him to help us and organise 
the Pygmies for an okapi hunt. Subsequently, however, a 
few things changed hands between us, including a much 
desired coat and trousers (an old hat we held over until the 
hoped for okapi was secured), which brought about an ami- 
cable settlement. Presently, therefore, the big village drum 
beat out the message across the forest that a white man and 
his bibi (lady) had arrived and wished to talk to the chief 
of the Pygmies. This " call *' was repeated several times 
during the night, not only on the drum but by blowing 
a series of blasts on a horn hollowed out of an elephant's 
tusk. Both methods of communication are in use by the 
local Wanandi and Wambuba, but trumpet signalling 
is the only one in use,* and is generally understood by 
the Pygmies. 

Nominally under the sway of Moera, as they roam through 
his district, but in reality the original owners, and indigenous 
race, of the Congo forests — and engaged in stealing from 
the local plantations, hunting, trapping and grubbing roots, 
and never camping for more than a few days at a time in 
any one place — are four clans of Pygmies, known as the 
Wambute. At times when they are hungry or in want of a 
bit of old iron, tobacco, or what not, they will work for the 

* The Wambute themselves carve ivory trumpets which they decorate 
with Uzard skin and elephant hair and wear hanging behind their backs. 

148 




a. 

B 

O 




C Wambute Pygmies of the Semliki Forest, 
4 ft. 4 in. and 4 ft. 5 in. in height respectively. 



Okapi Hunting 

Wanandi and other tribesmen in the banana plantations. 
These little men, who by the way are greatly respected 
by the dominant negroes for their power of retaliation 
when occasion arises, are indispensable when it comes 
to okapi hunting, and the first thing to be done is to 
solicit their help. As they are inordinately fond of salt 
and as they see very little of this commodity, their aid is 
easily obtained by the offer of a few pounds of the coarse 
article. 

In answer to Moera's summons, the following day brought 
the chief of the Wambute* and six other Pygmies, some of 
them with the face whitened with kaolin — forming a very 
effective mask — and others with only half of it painted, as is 
their custom when outside the confines of their forest home. 
Both my wife and myself looked at these sturdy little men 
with undisguised interest. What need to look further for 
the Missing Link when he stood before us ! Short legs, long 
arms, heavy torso ; short neck, rounded head, deep set, 
penetrating, see-in-the-dark kind of eyes ; square long hps, 
protruding jaw. The ape was all there, up to the hair, which 
was discernible in some cases over the entire body of these 
dwarfs. 

Later on I went to take cinematograph films of the 
Wambute, and made a surprise visit to one of their largest 
camps, an account of which I have given towards the end 
of this chapter. The work in hand at this meeting, however, 
was confined to raising their enthusiasm over the hunting 
down of a kwapi (the name, by the way, by which the animal 

* As I knew that Captain Harrison, twenty or more years ago now, took 
some of these pygmies back to England with him to be shown at Earl's 
Court Exhibition, I inquired about them, but was told they were all dead. For 
many reasons I believe the forest dwarf to be short lived ! 

149 



The Eastern Congo 

is known in these parts and from which its present scientific 
name is derived).* 

As Moera was the only one who could speak their lan- 
guage, this I left to him ; he seemed to promise a lot but 
gave little away and the palaver took some time. It was, 
however, eventually concluded satisfactorily for the Pygmies 
by the usual distribution of salt. 

I gathered that the plan was for the Wambute to search 
the forest in all directions, and that when an okapi was located 
the fact was to be signalled by a special trumpet call to bring 
along the rest of the clan with their dogs and so start the hunt, 
which might last several days or even weeks. 

As I myself witnessed one of these hunts when out col- 
lecting in the depth of the forest a short description of it 
is worth giving. 

The first intimation I had of the coming chase was an 
exceedingly melodious piping away in the distance, which 
on becoming more audible as it approached resolved itself | 
into a series of flute-like notes of considerable volume, but 
very pleasant to the ear. These were augmented by varying 
tap-tapping noises ; but nothing was to be seen and no other 
sounds were heard ! Knowing from the native who was 
with me that this was a band of Wambute out hunting, we 
stood behi'nd trees to watch, letting the chase go by. How- 
ever, as the foliage was very dense, little could be seen, but 
presently as we watched out came a little yellow dog scurrying 

* The Okapi is known by the name of Ndumbe in the northern extension 
of the Ituri forest. George Grenfell, the great missionary geographer discovered 
the okapi in the region south of the middle Aruwimi River in 1902, and recorded 
its local name as Ndumba. The range of this primitive giraffe seems to extend 
from the Mangoma country (5° S.Lat.) in the south, to the Aruwimi basin in 
the north, and possibly westward, north of the Congo, to the vicinity of the 
lower Mubangi River. — H. H.J. 

150 



Okapi Hunting 

along the track from which we had stood aside, the bell 
(made from a hard seed-pod with two clappers) attached to 
its neck tap-tapping as it ran, and then, following it, a naked 
Pygmy holding a little bow and a sheaf of arrows, both soon 

I disappearing however as quickly as they had come. The 
fluting was continuous and as far as I could judge was the 
little men's method of keeping the centre of a half-circle. 
They evidently passed through the forest in this formation, 
with the idea of surrounding anything their dogs tracked up 
for them ; the Pygmy playing the flute being guided to a 
certain extent by the bells of the dogs. 

The forest dwarf is an adept at ** calling " animals, 
especially I believe the chimpanzi, and will sit alone with 
his bow and arrows imitating the cry of this ape or some 

II other animal, until one approaches closely when he lets fly 
' a shaft and kills it more often than not, for they are expert 

marksmen and use poisoned arrows. I think, however, 
they kill very few elephants without assistance from the other 
forest negroes, the game being too big for their primitive 
weapons, but they certainly ably assist their more robust 
brethren in arranging traps and pit-falls. The fierce but 
pygmy red forest buffalo is perhaps their Mte noire, for this 
sturdy beast is the " devil and all " when aroused, making 
even the bird-like Wambute '' step lively '' on occasions. 
Later on when nearing the Ituri River the report was brought 
to us that one of these animals, after being wounded, had put 
five Pygmies right out of action by goring them, three of 
whom had not survived. Most Pygmies are extraordinarily 
agile tree climbers (a very necessary accomplishment, by the 
way, for a grey parrot snarer), but I am unable to give 
credence to the reports one reads of tree-living Pygmies, 

151 



The Eastern Congo 



resembling large apes : never having seen or heard of any 
such during my wanderings in the Congo. 

Our meeting with the Pygmies concluded, they decided 
to celebrate our arrival and their departure for the chase ii 
with a dance which commenced after sundown. This 
proved exceedingly entertaining to watch in the glow of 
the firelight, and was moreover accompanied by the most 
melodious music I have ever heard at any native dance in 
Africa. It was the same mellow *' Pipes of Pan " music 
that I heard in the woods when the Wambute were hunting, 
but this time harmonised with their peculiar intonations, 
accompanied by a small drum. The forest dwarfs I put down 
as the best native musicians in Africa.* 

Before describing the small measure of success that 
came my way in my search for an okapi, a few notes on 
this interesting ruminant will I hope, interest the reader, 
for I have frequently been asked even in Africa : what is an 
okapi ? 

Belonging to the same family as the giraffes, the okapi 
has diverged considerably both in form and colour, under 
the influence of its forest surroundings, from its well known 
long-necked cousin of the Acacia plains. In size it resembles 
a large donkey, the female, which is hornless, showing a 
tendency, almost unique amongst mammals, to grow larger 
than the male. Its body colour is a rich chocolate with a 
purple tinge, the legs being striped black and white, and the 
latter colouring continuing well up the buttocks. The tail 
is comparatively small, ending in a tuft of bristle-like hairs. 
The head, which in the males is surmounted with a pair of 

* I am informed on good authority that some pygmies when dancing beat 
their chests with their hands, making a loud clopping noise, similar to a gorilla 
or orang-utan. 

152 



Okapi Hunting 

small skin-covered, bare pointed horns, is mostly greyish, 
sometimes with a yellow tinge ; the ears, however, are dark 
brown, large and sensitive like those of the tragelaphs,* and 
formed to carry to their owner the merest suggestion of a 
footfall or snapping twig. The head has the rounded and 
pointed appearance of the giraffes — the nose, however, is 
rather snout-like — the tongue long and prehensile. The 
dark eye is small and not '' full '' like an animal 
from the plains. The neck is only slightly elongated, but 
with a heavy base and high withers. The hide is remark- 
ably tough and the hoofs and spoor resemble those of a 
small ox. The meat is considered a great delicacy by all 
the forest tribes. 

The habits of the okapi resemble those of the bongo, the 
kudu, and the bushbuck, and like these very shy animals 
more often than not it is found alone. It is partly nocturnal 
and fond of feeding in the late evening or at night when the 
moon is out, and similarly with the tragelaphs its food con- 
sists of fruits, flowers, bark, and some kinds of decayed wood, 
as much as succulent shoots of trees and herbage. There 
is no record as far as I am aware of the okapi uttering any 
kind of call, either of alarm or otherwise. From observations 
made on live specimens captured in the Congo, it has an amble 
like a giraffe, but I am assured by the Pygmies and by white 
men who have seen them, that when alarmed it appears to 
bound through the forest undergrowth and at an incredible 
speed. 

It is said that the first record of the existence of the 
okapi is contained in drawings found on the walls of an ancient 
Egyptian temple. Be that as it may there is no zoological 

* Members of the^eland-kudu-bushbuck sub-family. 

153 



The Eastern Congo 



find within recent times to compare with Sir Harry Johnston's 
d^'scovery of this unique animal in the years 1900-1901.* 

* The first hint which set my imagination reflecting on the possible existence 
of some large, strangely-marked ruminant in the heart of Central Africa, in the 
Congo basin, was d^iived in my boyhood from a book on strange beasts which 
might be even yet discovered in the unknown parts of the world, most probably 
of all in the Congo basin and the unmapped regions between the Cameroons 
and the East Coast. The book was written by Philip Gosse, the father of Mr. 
Edmund Gosse ; and I think it was given to me as a school prize. It described 
amongst other creatures a unicorn, attributed to the inner regions of Central 
Africa, some brightly-marked and coloured creature about the size of a horse ; 
and its descriptions were based on the stories of Dutch, English and Portuguese 
explorers of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. When I first met Stanley 
on the Lower Congo in 1882, and still more when I spent some weeks with him 
on the Upper Congo in 1883, we talked about this book of Philip Gosse's, and 
he spc ke with great stress on the ixiost likely region in all Africa for the occurrence 
of marvels in land-features, in human races, and in the existence of strange 
mammals and birds. This he described as " the region of the Blue Mountains," 
the country immediately south of the Albert Nyanza, west of Uganda, and on 
the fringe of his newly-discovered Congo basin. " If ever I get the chance of a 
free choice of exploration, it is to that region I wall return. It holds, I believe^ 
the greatest marvels of Africa." Four to five years later he got the chance. He 
directed his steps thither in his attempt to relieve Emin Pasha. He discovered 
Ruwenzori and the Semliki, Lake Edward, and the vast forest of the north-east 
Congo basin. He also found traces of the okapi — " a large donkey " — and 
recorded them in a foot-note in his book. About that time the work of Wilhelm 
Junker, a Russo-German explorer of the Bahr-al-ghazal, was published, and in 
it appeared a few paragraphs indicating that he had actually seen a skin or 
two of this strange ruminant (the okapi) in the neighbourhood of the Nepoko 
River. Soon after I was appointed Special Commissioner to proceed to Uganda 
I paid a visit to Stanley to say good-bye, and we talked of the strange fauna 
that might inhabit the wonderful forests of north-east Congoland. At his 
house in Whitehall Terrace we once more discussed what his large " donkey " 
of north-east Congoland might be, and I promised him to make it my endeavour 
to find out. Early in my residence in Uganda I was thrown much into contact 
with Congo pygmies ; they eagerly confirmed Stanley's stories and eventually 
led me to the discovery of this forest-dwelling giraffe. I think it quite possible 
that the okapi, like the forest hog, also mentioned by Mr. Barns, may have 
extended its range right across Central Equatorial Africa at one time, to the 
hinterland of the Cameroons, and so have furnished the natives with accounts 
of a unicorn-like beast in the dense forest which were transmitted to the Dutch 
explorers and geographers of Western Equatorial Africa in the eighteenth 
century. George Grenfell, the great missionary-explorer of Congoland, in- 
dependently discovered the opaki near the Nepoko River a year after I had 
found it near the Semliki. But this fact did not become known for several 
years, till his journals came under my inspection after his death. — H. H. J. 

154 



Okapi Hunting 

In regard to it, it is curious to reflect that although Congo- 
land had been occupied for many years and the Ituri forest 
penetrated in several directions, this animal escaped dis- 
covery for so long a time. This is the more .to be wondered 
at, as the forest negroes have been in the habit of wearing 
belts and bandoliers made from the striped leg skins of the 
animal for generations past. It was on the evidence of these 
native ornaments that Sir Harry Johnston eventually based 
his researches. May it be that there is still something startling 
to find in the Congo — a really pygmy elephant, a dinotherium, 
a water rhinoceros or perchance a brontosaurus ! Even as I 
write comes the news of a five- tusked elephant shot by 
Monsieur Pilet in the Uele District. The Belgian Congo— 
** The Pearl of Africa '' — has, I feel sure, a zoological surprise 
packet still hidden away awaiting an opening by some lucky 
adventurer ! 

Although not realising this when at Moera's village, 
the range of the okapi is more extensive than is commonly 
supposed and I should have accomplished my object more 
successfully had I postponed my search until I reached the 
north side of the Ituri valley, where the animal is fairly 
numerous. In the Wamba and Nepoko districts no difficulty 
will be experienced in securing a specimen, although the 
actual killing of the animal will have to be left to the native 
hunters — it being impracticable for a white man to hunt in 
the tangled undergrowth in which it lives. 

Fortunately my time was fully occupied in collecting 
insects — in search of which I made excursions in many 
directions — for day after day went by and no okapi turned 
up, until I began to lose hope. To make matters worse, 
an obscure epidemic disease broke out amongst our porters, 

155 



The Eastern Congo 

and in a very few days we had seventeen of them sick on 
our hands, one of whom died. Very naturally the rest of 
the men became nervous and wished to be paid off, leaving 
me no alternative but to comply with their request. In a 
most kind way the Chef de Poste at Mbeni, to whom I wrote 
for more carriers, sent out one of his soldiers to collect others 
for me, but as luck would have it he too was taken suddenly 
ill the day after he reached our camp, together with one of 
the new porters he brought with him, both having to be sent 
back strung up like pigs in impromptu hammocks, for the 
disease, which was a form of Spanish influenza, took them 
in the legs and they were unable to walk. 

In Africa the truth of the old saying, '' it never rains but 
it pours," is often very forcibly brought home to one and in this 
case it was literally true, for at this time we experienced the 
most terrific thunderstorm and tornado that it has ever been 
my misfortune to encounter. Due no doubt to the mantle 
of ice and snow covering the equatorial mountains of Ruwen- 
zori, the elements are continually at war in this region and bad 
storms and electrical discharges are of frequent occurrence. 
This electrified tornado, however, was half-a-dozen thunder- 
storms rolled into one, its effect being felt half across Africa, 
for later, news of the damage it wrought at Kampala in 
Uganda reached me where it was described as *' the worst 
storm ever known." It approached from the north-west, 
at first painting the entire landscape with a sickly yellow 
light, and bringing with it an ominous sense of impending 
disaster felt by the entire living world about us and warning 
Dame Nature to wrap up tight her cloak. The large blue 
turaco took his last run along the big branch and ceased 
his noisy crowing ; the cheery grey parrot shut up whistling 

156 




C. The Author, before leaving Mbeni 
to climb the Ruwenzori Mountains. 




d, A W'ambutc Pygmy suffering from 
leprosy (right hand and cheek). He 
carries his quiver slung on his back. 



Gfq 




Okapi Hunting 



and '' cocked " that all-seeing eye of his ; that uncanny 
night-crier the Potto lemur turned in his hollow tree and 
thought (hke ourselves, only for a different reason !) — if he 
woke up at all — that *' Thank goodness, this hasn't come 
at night ! *' The chimpanzi sought his most protected " plat- 
form," and crossing his arms formed that natural hair cloak 
of his, from off which the rain would presently run, and the 
monkey families huddled close together beneath the great 
clumps of elephant's ear fern. The one animal perhaps 
that recked nothing of the storm was the jaguar-like forest 
leopard of the Semhki* — callous, collected, cruel, caring 
nothing for the giant breath that, as yet, only whispered 
among the huge creepers about him or for the pealing thunder 
of the coming tempest. He thought this a fine opportunity to 
steal a march on his implacable, albeit more sensitive enemies, 
the bandar-log crouching on high beneath the fern. 

We hammered in our tent-pegs and packed our belongings 
as best we might to weather the hurricane that was now 
upon us. For half an hour or more we seemed to be engulfed 
in a whirlwind, round the edges of which the shafts of lightning 
chased one another, tearing and splitting the tall trees around 
us, with blinding flashes of electricity terrifying to witness. 
Hardy as my wife had become, and strong man as I am, 
we both felt, after it was all over, that we had had the breath 
knocked right out of us and that this was the occasion for a 
little stimulant, in which the reader may rest assured we both 
indulged. 

With us at this time was a fat, pleasant Wanandi native 
whom we had engaged at Ruchuru on Lake Edward as my 

• A remarkable sub-species of leopard discovered by the Duke of the 
Abbnizzi's expedition. — H. H. J. 

157 



The Eastern Congo 



personal servant. After some years* wandering with the 
Belgian forces during the war and having visited such places 
as Dar-es-Salaam and Tabora, we had brought him back to 
his home near Mbeni where he was well known to the Catholic 
missionaries. We had become quite attached to this pleasant 
native, so in the light of the event that followed it was a little 
bit pitiful to remember his answer to the White Fathers when 
they expressed surprise that he had brought back nothing 
with him after so many years' absence. It was to the effect 
that he had saved no money and had nothing at all, but he had 
seen ''life," having smoked the white man's cigarettes and 
cigars and having tasted the white man's beer and whisky 
at Dar-es-Salaam. 

When he left his home sleeping sickness was very pre- 
valent in the Mbeni district, and this native, so the Fathers 
told us, was supposed to have had it, but the germs being 
dormant, as occurs in some cases, the disease acted slowly. 
On this evidence therefore it seemed that it was his fate 
to come home with us to die of this scourge. 

For some weeks past it had become increasingly evident 
that Cyril — which was the boy's name — was becoming fatter 
and fatter, in fact, he became elephantine (for a negro). 
This apparently was the last stage of the disease with him, 
for he went sick and was dead in three days. With this 
native and the porter who succumbed earlier in the week, 
we had a practical illustration of the Wanandi's superstitious 
dread of any man dying in a house. Both poor Cyril and 
the dying porter were carried out of the hut they occupied 
when at their last gasp, so that they should not die under 
its roof. 

This '' chapter of accidents " was rather disconcerting 

158 



Okapi Hunting 

and inclined to get on the nerves ; moreover, the old chief 
Moera reckoned, and quite rightly, that we had brought 
trouble to his village, so he was as fed up with us as we were 
with him — we were irritable and so was he ! A fruitful 
cause of irritation (to my wife at any rate) was the ever- 
lasting chattering and shouting that went on in the village 
court-house over which Moera presided, being close to our 
camp, it worried her a good deal. She sent out a native 
therefore on one or two occasions with instructions that the 
j hubbub should cease, and that the cases were to be tried 
with less noise. I being away on a certain occasion when 
the row going on was past bearing, owing to the introduction 
of pombe or native beer into the deliberations, and Moera 
reluctant to stop the noise, she decided to take the matter 
into her own hands, and as the reader may judge, to some 
purpose, for going to the entrance of the place she harangued 
old Moera and his assembled savages in bad Swahili, but 
with such good brandishings of a lighted fire-stick she held 
that she cowed the lot of them, emphasising her wrath by 
throwing the stick into the middle of what were, for aught 
I know, the most important witnesses and village elders. 
After this we had some peace, if we omit the early morning 
hours before the village he-goat went forth to graze, and the 
beating I had to administer to two natives who threw banana 
skins on our tent, and the row we had with the cook for stealing 
the salt, and his eventual desertion, when he left us to the 
mercy of riiy insect collecting '' boy " who had then perforce 
to act as cook, and last, but not least, the nerve-racking 
tapping of the bark-cloth makers. 

About this time, and on to this slightly unhappy horizon, 
came a half caste Pygmy-Arab to cheer us up — his name 

159 



The Eastern Congo 

was " Amissi '* (Hamisi). He was an Imp of Darkness not 
more than four feet two inches in height, with a small beard, 
and his round intelligent head surmounted by a well rolled 
turban. He was a local chief, and like Moera had several 
clans of Wambute in his " district,*' and moreover appeared 
to be none too friendly with the aforementioned gentleman. 
Coming up to our tent he salaamed and in a few words stated 
that he wished to speak to me alone. His 'cute manner 
gained my confidence at once, so nothing loath I sent everyone 
away. 

As I had decided to resume our northward journey within 
a few days, the nev/s he communicated to me was no less 
astonishing than delightful to hear. I am sorry to admit 
that my Swahili is imperfect — it is of the Congo variety known 
as Kingwana — but I gathered this much, that an okapi lay. 
dead in the forest and that if I would come with him immedi- 
ately he would lead me to it so that I could take its skin. 
There were conditions of course — considerations — which the 
wily Amissi tried to gauge correctly from my elated demeanour 
or otherwise ; I tried not to be elated but it was a hard job 
after a month's waiting joined to our other troubles. 

I had offered a two hundred francs reward and a load of 
salt for the first kwapi skin brought in, so this was the bargain 
I struck with Amissi. That finished, we set off into the forest 
at a speed that barely kept pace with my impatience. After 
a good two hours' walk along an elephant path, and after 
meeting a sour-faced dwarf who apparently had been waiting 
a long time for us, we turned aside into the tangle of creepers 
and cardamoms,* through which we struggled. This new 

♦ These aromatic plants form the greater part of the forest undergrowth ; 
they have a briUiant red seed-pod growing from the root, which is much sought 
after by many animals for food. 

i6o 




C Female Wambute Pygmies, 4 ft. and 4 ft. 2 in. in 
height respectively. The woman on the left exhibits con- 
siderable steatopygia, like thebushmen of South Africa. 



o 




1 

I 
' ( 

I 
( 



Okapi Hunting 



track led us across several boulder-strewn streams, beside the 
last of which Amissi pointed his thin finger at some deep 
spoors scattered over the heavy loam, using the words chui 
(leopard) and kwapi frequently when speaking. Greatly 
interested I examined these tracks very closely, also the 
quantity of broken twigs and small branches that now strewed 
the trail we followed, some of the latter having bits of hair 
adhering to them. Having seen similar indications in the 
bush where a lion or leopard has had a '' kill,'' I at last 
tumbled to the word chui. Of course, now I knew — a leopard 
had killed an okapi ! Shortly afterwards our Pygmy guide 
led us to the dead animal itself, a large female, which judging 
by the severe cla wings and bites she had sustained must have 
put up a plucky fight for her life. The Wambute who appear 
to know everything that goes on in the forest, had got wind 
of the '' kill '* and that morning had wounded the leopard 
over its prey without however killing it. The stomach of the 
okapi had been torn out and partly eaten, and the head 
and neck were useless for mounting purposes, but here was 
the animal I sought. I had therefore to be content with 
what the leopard had left me and return to camp with the 
skin. As I trudged home my imagination painted a most 
wonderful picture of the struggles of this okapi to free itself 
from its assailant, all the bright colours and tropical sur- 
roundings were there : the golden, spotted leopard, the 
chocolate-purple of the okapi with its black and white mark- 
ings, the shaft of sunlight through the trees. What a picture 
Africa can produce at times ! I gained our camp that 
evening highly pleased, for with the okapi and gorilla trophies 
I had obtained records of the two rarest animals in Africa. 

^ :(: Hi ^ ^ 

l6l M 



The Eastern Congo 

The anthropology of the Pygmy races, and of those known 
as the Wambute, has been exhaustively dealt with in many 
books, and it is not therefore my intention to write a great 
deal about them. When I paid a visit to their camps in the 
forest it was with the intention of taking moving picture 
studies of the Pygmy at Home, an intention to a certain 
extent original (one must be original in these days). For, 
whereas their life's study has been made some time ago, 
their family life has seldom been presented to the public 
exactly as it is and as the kine-camera makes it possible for 
people at home to see it. 

As it is now surmised, the Pygmy in prehistoric times 
was probably evolved from negroid tribes that originally 
migrated into Africa from Nearer Asia. The type is not, as 
has been supposed, closely allied to the Bushman of South 
Africa. The language of the Wambute, as well as other 
forest dwarfs, would appear to reflect the tongue spoken 
by the neighbouring tribes amongst whom they live. To me, 
however, their speech resembled calls of animals, especially 
monkeys, more than a language ; they seemed to use intona- 
tions more than words, especially when calling loudly to 
each other in the forest ; this was due no doubt, in part, to 
the echoes that form in the tree '' galleries," but this quality 
in their speech always persisted — to my ear at least ! 

Respecting their range, the Pygmies are to be found 
spread about over the entire basin of the Congo, with a 
leaning to the north-west, north-east and east. Their limit 
to the west reaches right up to the Cameroons, and on the east 
as far as Mount Elgon and Lake Eyassi, dwarf races being found 
even on Lake Rudolph. Their skulls being lowest in the 
scale of human development are characterised by a prog- 

162 



Okapi Hunting 

nathous or protruding jaw. They are, however, or seem to 
be, more nimble witted than many other forest natives of a 
higher culture, and having no cannibal tendencies are gentle- 
men compared to the bigger negroes. 

When making my visit to the Wambute with my '' movie " 
camera, I took the chief Moera with me, sending him on 
ahead to calm any fears they might have regarding my 
intentions. On my way thither I passed through a large 
extent of forest that was then being cleared for bananas, 
the staple food of the forest negroes, where I had a good 
opportunity of observing their methods of opening up land 
for this crop. Firstly, they cleared the thick undergrowth 
which was burnt, leaving only the largest trees standing to 
act as shade for the young banana roots that were planted 
hap-hazard beneath, in small holes dug in the deep leaf-mould. 
When these had taken root they proceeded slowly to fell 
the gigantic trees that had been left standing ; this was done 
from a frail platform some twelve feet up the bole or, in the 
case of a soft-wood tree, a fire would be started at its foot in 
between the semi-aerial roots. 

Passing on in the wake of Moera the fact that we had 
reached the vicinity of Pygmyland soon became evident for 
our ears were assailed by a babble of echoing and unaccus- 
tomed sounds, due to the consternation caused by my near 
approach and Moera's expostulations. The expectation of 
some salt, however, induced the more timid women and 
children who had run away, to return, so when I arrived 
most of my *' performers " had assembled. There were some 
twenty-five of them all told, some on trees — mostly the children 
— the men and women in groups in front of their leaf shelters. 
The grey bearded chief of the Wambute, whom I had seen 

163 



The Eastern Congo 

previously, came to salute me ; to him I explained my mission 
through Moera, but at first I wanted to know why they 
hadn't killed me an okapi. The reply was that " many white 
men had come seeking the kwapi and that now there were 
few in the forest '' — this I believe was true. 

The Pygmy camp as I found it was just a collection of 
leaf bowers made by arching branches into round shelters 
about three to four feet high, some of which Moera informed 
me were for the women and others for the men ; this no 
doubt bears out the recorded promiscuity practised in their 
matrimonial affairs. Almost all these little people were 
light brown in colour as if living in the dense shade of the 
forest had paled their skins ; they also had the appearance — 
especially the children — of being ill-nourished and hungry. 
On making a tour of the camp and looking into all the '' huts," 
I was unable to find a single utensil, neither cooking pot nor 
gourd. There was one primitive kind of iron axe and a few 
earthenware pipe-bowls, some with long reed stems, others 
were stuck into the midrib of a green banana leaf four feet 
in length, through which they doubtless obtained a very 
cool smoke — that was all. All the male Pygmies, men and 
children, had small round bows and numberless arrows, 
some of the latter having broad iron heads with feathered 
shafts (some of them poisoned with a paste was of the 
deadly Strophanthus seeds), whilst others were merely finely 
pointed raphia splinters flighted with shaped pieces of 
dried leaf. Most of the men had round skin pads at- 
tached to their left wrists, made apparently in some cases 
from the dried and stuffed scrota of various animals, to 
protect the arm from the bow-string and in which to carry 
their poison. I saw no spears and but few small knives, 

164 



Okapi Hunting 



and they wore next to nothing in the way of clothing or 
ornaments. 

The Hght for instantaneous photography in the gloom of 
the forest is never good, but on this occasion I was fairly 
successful and the results were pleasing. Having made my 
exposures I returned to camp, where my wife and I were soon 
busily engaged on preparations for our advance along the 
Semliki valley. 

Shortly before we left Moera's village, Pere Lens of the 
vSacred Heart Mission at Mbeni spent two days with us, and 
over the camp fire told us many interesting tales of the old 
days when the cannibals were openly cannibals and white 
men travelled with an armed escort. Some of these grim 
episodes I have recounted in the next chapter, some must be 
left untold. 

On passing in review the novel experiences we went 
through, and the first ghmpses we obtained of the highly 
interesting life of this great forest, we felt we were only just 
commencing the really interesting part of our expedition and 
longed to see more. It was, therefore, with the Call of the 
Wild, the Fever of the Horizon — call it what you will — as 
strong as ever within us, that we '' slung our pack " and hitched 
our belts and passed on down the forest way. 



.v-^'^^o. 



^m^]d^<t 






•NTARtO 



l6^ 



CHAPTER XII 

AMONGST THE WAMBUBA CANNIBALS 

" Capped in scarlet parrots' feathers, draped in vesture wild and weird. 
Beaded, bangled, and barbaric, reverenced and rudely feared. 
Lords of life and limb unquestioned, Kings of Crop and Kings of Clan, 
Swayed they thus their forest silence on the old primcBval plan 
Till the white men came among them, and the new regime began." 

Verse II, " The Crocodile Kings," by Cullen Gouldsbury. 

THE descent from Moera's to the native village of 
Katushi, which is built on the floor of the Semliki 
valley, is very steep in places, the track passing through 
dense virgin forest and becoming a kind of tunnel here and 
there, the haunt of large and brilliant forest butterflies, which 
from every bunch of fallen fruit, fly up in sparkling clouds 
as the traveller approaches. Flowers are by no means 
common in the primeval forest, and the butterflies and 
moths, most of the forest forms at any rate, feed on fruit, 
plant juices and gums, some again — the rarest and most 
beautiful — on dead and decaying animals and other offensive 
matter. Here I added considerably to my already rich 
collection. 

Besides these beautiful insects, I had collected some 
valuable monkey skins in this neighbourhood, amongst them 
were : The Red Colubus Monkey {Colobus ellioti) ; Dent's 
Guenon (Cercopithecus denti) ; Stuhlmann's Guenon {Cerco- 
pithecus leucampyx stuhlmanni) ; Huri Mangabey (Cercocebus 
albigena ituri) ; also I obtained a Flying Squirrel {Anomalurus 
pusillus, and another fine reddish squirrel with a large bushy 
grey tail. From the north end of Lake Kivu I had already 

i66 



Wambuba Cannibals 

obtained several skins of that rare and beautiful Golden 
Monkey the Cercopithecus kandti* 

As we made our way down into the valley I added yet 
another specimen to my collection; this time it was a large 
genet, the Genetta victorice (another discovery of Sir H. H. 
Johnston) which was brought after me by a breathless runner 
from one of the villages near by, having been caught that 
morning in a trap ; another native who followed me had an 
okapi skin belt he wished to dispose of. The Semliki natives 
appear to be great trappers for they were always bringing 
me trapped animals, especially the black and white Colobus 
monkey which seems to be more easily snared than others. 
The trap used in most cases is a small hutch-like enclosure 
with a falling trap door, which the animal sets off itself when 
grasping the bait within. 

The trapping propensity of these natives was answerable 
for a very nasty experience that occurred to me a short while 
before when out collecting. On this occasion I was quite 
alone and seeing a valuable butterfly which I chased along a 
narrow track I fell with a crash into a hidden game pit. 
Fortunately for me the pit was not staked at the bottom as 
some of them are, or I should have been impaled. The sen- 
sation when seeing the ground breaking up about one, as one 
goes down clutching at the thin grass covering, is to be classed 
with nightmares. This pit-fall with the inside of which I 
made such a painful acquaintance was eight feet deep, six 

* Belgians have reported to me the existence of a pure white monkey in 
such widely separated districts as Lake Kivu and Lake Leopold II ; this is 
possibly the White Mangabey {Cercocebus jamrachi) which was first discovered 
near Lake Mweru. A photograph shown me of two dead white monkeys and 
one live young one, from Lake Leopold II, rather confirms this as they looked 
like mangabeys ; their heads were black and the rest of the body white, with 
very long tails. 

167 



The Eastern Congo 

feet six long, and about four feet wide at the top, tapering 
down to about a foot at the bottom. It was placed on one 
side of a fallen tree so that any animal stepping over the 
tree could not fail to fall headlong — this one was made to 
catch an okapi. I scrambled out of it with some difficulty, 
having luckily only sustained a severe shaking. 

On arrival at Katushi we again had a practical example of 
drum-signalling by these natives, for we were expected and not 
only had the chief got food, wood and water ready for us and 
our porters when we arrived, but had sent out natives in 
several directions to locate a good elephant for me. Now, 
up to this time I had been doing no elephant hunting and had 
scarcely even made inquiries about them, as my licence 
had not arrived from Stanleyville. This had in fact turned 
up the day before we left Moera's, when I asked that chief if 
I was likely to see any of these animals on my way to Katushi. 
However, as stated when we arrived the natives appeared 
to know our movements and even of my wish to hunt 
elephants. In explanation of this the chief told me he had 
received news about our coming the previous day by drum- 
signal. 

Right throughout the central Ituri district this drum- 
signalling is in practice, and drums are to be heard beating 
at all hours of the day and even at night in a thickly popu- 
lated district. Amongst the Wanandi especially and in a 
lesser degree with the Wambuba, this drum-signalling has 
been brought to a decidedly useful art. The Catholic Fathers 
at Mbeni used it almost daily when having something to 
communicate to their teachers in certain villages or to their 
cattle herdsman in charge of the Mission cows, which had to 
be kept at some distance from Mbeni on account of tsetse 

i68 



Wambuba Cannibals 

fly. Illustrating the accuracy of the drum code the following 
instance is worth recording. 

On this occasion news was received at the mission by 
drum that a white man was approaching from a certain 
direction, but as one of their members had lately left to travel 
the same route and news had already been received respecting 
his arrival at a certain village, the Fathers placed little credence 
in the report, judging the natives had become mixed up with 
the message and that it referred to their friend who had 
recently left. However, the native signaller persisted in his 
report that there were two white men, one going and one 
coming on the same road. To prove the reliability of the 
native code sure enough the reported white man turned up 
at the mission the following day. This one instance is suffi- 
cient to show how useful this method of signalling might be 
in case of sickness, for instance, or a native rising.* 

On such an expedition as I have attempted to describe 
in this book, the study of the flora, fauna and topography 
in which I was most interested, are no less absorbing than 
the extraordinary variety of the beliefs, customs and super- 
stitions of the many savage races through whose country 
I travelled and to which, through lack of time, I was only 
able to give but a passing interest. With the forest region — 
for the practice of its worst forms is confined to forest dwellers 
— we were in touch for the first time with cannibalism, with- 
out a reference to which a book of travel on the Congo could 
hardly be considered complete, it having played such a large 
part in its history. 

As we had passed by the Bahuni country and were amongst 

* This system of drum -signalling extends over the whole of the Congo basin, 
as well as to northern Angola and the Cameroons, and reappears in Southern 
Nigeria and much of forested West Africa.— H. H. J. 

169 



The Eastern Congo 

the Wambuba natives who inhabit the one strip of the Belgian 
Congo not yet completely under administration, we were in 
a district where cannibal practices are as much rampant as 
anywhere in Africa to-day. We were, moreover, about to 
penetrate the unknown region lying north-west of the aban-i 
doned post of Lesi where " long pig '' was still on the weekly 
menu of these degraded savages. I will therefore at the 
suggestion of many friends write down such observations 
on the custom and its history as I think may interest them, 
leaving, however, my account of the Leopard sect of the 
Anyioto for the next chapter, and until my description of 
our route leads us through the country in which they operated. 

Cannibalism* no doubt entered into human nature through 
the pangs of hunger at the earliest dawn of history for amongst 
the remains of the early cave-dwellers, human bones, especi- 
ally those of children, bearing cut marks, have been found 
in different parts of the world. Great Britain included. After- 
wards, doubtless, the pangs of hunger being satisfied a liking 
for human flesh persisted. 

After the lapse of many thousands of years we next find 
that religion has entered into it as a deity demanding human' 
sacrifices, the worshippers eating (and possibly liking) as a 
sacrament the flesh of the sacrificed. Added to this we find 
amongst certain of the Congo negroes the barbarous idea of 
eating the flesh of the Great Departed with the hope of retain- 
ing in their systems something of their greatness and virtue. 
This custom has no doubt come down in prehistoric times 
from ancient Egypt, where the practice had its birth. 

Then again comes a belief in a life after death and the 

* The word " cannibal " is derived from a corruption of the Spanish name 
" Caribales " or West Indian islanders and invaders, called in English the Caribs. 

170 



Wambuba Cannibals 

necessity that certain individuals — beloved or useful — should 
accompany certain persons of importance to that other world 
when they died, which brings us down to the execrable burial 
murders of the Congo and their accompanying cannibal 
orgies. To this can be added yet another factor, in the craving 
of the semi-human Congo savage (without such a thing as 
pity in his composition or language) for a change from his 
insipid vegetable diet and for excitement to break the mono- 
tony of his forest-hound life, in other words the longing for a 
" thrill " which besets even ourselves to this day, good and 
bad alike, and which is in fact at the root of the general 
interest taken in cannibals and the wish of my friends to 
hear about them. 

A great deal of interesting information concerning the 
customs and history of the Congo cannibals is contained in that 
comprehensive work of Sir H. H. Johnston, entitled *' George 
Grenfell and the Congo," which should be read by all those 
interested in the development of this amazing country. 
Here will be found some of the most gruesome accounts of 
burial murders, ceremonial cannibalism and other diabolical 
customs, that can well be imagined, written of a time when 
the natives resembled the worst Carnivora and fought each 
other for the flesh on their bones. One of these accounts 
deals with the extraordinary customs and murders attending 
the death of a Baluba chief, which is so bizarre as to be almost 
past belief. In these times, now happily passing away, 
burial murders and cannibal feasts were the order of the day, 
and no chief of any consequence died without some of his 
wives, as well as numerous slaves, being slaughtered or 
strangled and buried with him (in some cases they were 
buried alive), the ceremonies being concluded by a feast 



The Eastern Congo I 



of human flesh provided by other victims killed for the 
purpose. 

In these days cannibalism amongst the Wambuba is con- 
fined to the exhumation of dead bodies and eating them, 
for some of these human hyaenas think nothing of robbing 
a week-old grave of its contents, such cases frequently coming 
to the notice of the missionaries in the district. The more 
enlightened natives have to bury their dead secretly to avoid 
this ghoulish practice. 

Cannibalism dies hard in the Congo as instanced by the 
recrudescence of the practice during the German East African 
campaign, when many authenticated cases occurred of the 
Congo native soldiers eating the dead on the battlefield at 
night after an engagement. 

A case of cannibalism that was brought to my notice wa 
of a man who practically held up a district by waylayin 
solitary passers-by in a lonely part of the forest, killing them 
robbing them, and eating them ; he was eventually foun 
out in rather an extraordinary manner, for he started sellin, 
human meat which he disposed of ostensibly as flesh o: 
antelopes. The local villagers knew possibly what the mea 
was, but as the headman was a confederate they did not giv 
the game away. Eventually, however, one of his would-b 
victims escaped although badly wounded and identified th 
man from whom he had bought some meat the day previously 
The man and his confederate escaped justice by fleeing th 
neighbourhood and, it is thought, joined the Anyioto Leopar 
sect, but in the subsequent hue and cry their retreat in th 
recesses of the forest was found, containing a quantity o; 
human skulls and bones which they had partially destroye 
by burning. 

172 



Wambuba Cannibals 

As may be seen from my photographs of them, the Wam- 
buba cannibals look their part, the women adding to their 
repulsiveness by piercing both top and bottom lips, and in- 
serting small brass rings. The chief's wives wear a heavy 
iron carved collar weighing about five pounds, a relic of the 
old slave days, which has now become a kind of token of 
affectionate submissiveness on the part of the wife. In the 
same photograph can be seen the type of house in vogue with 
the Wanandi, Wambuba and some of the Bakonjo natives, 
this form of hut being found in the forest region of the Semliki 
valley and the adjoining portion of the Congo — Semliki 
watershed. 

The maranaceous leaves with which these huts are 
thatched being very tough and durable in texture, form an 
ideal, completely watertight roofing, far superior to grass, 
lighter, less verminous and less likely to catch fire, and are, 
moreover, used for thatching purposes all over the Ituri 
forest. The specially shaped huts I have referred to, however, 
are not found outside the districts inhabited by the tribes 
mentioned.* 

Among the curious customs of the Wanandi and Wambuba 
natives is that of loading their babies with wire neck rings 
and charms until the poor infants can scarcely breathe, and 
the friction of the ornaments wears the skin raw ; as they are 
handed down from generation to generation as kind of 
heirlooms, matters are made worse by the collection of filth 
and vermin they contain. 

Salt and meat are the two great luxuries that these people 
will move heaven and earth to obtain. Over and over again 

* The same shaped hut is found amongst the Bakonjo inhabiting the high 
western slopes of the Ruwenzori Mountains outside the forest region. Here 
they are thatched with banana stems, not with leaves. 

173 



The Eastern Congo 

a native has come up to my camp with a long tale about 
something or another — how he had helped carry a sick porter, 
or how he had gone to look for elephants, or how he had done 
this, that and the other for me — but the end of the yarn 
was just the same and I always knew what was coming 
a plea for some salt. Eventually I got heartily tired of] 
giving it out and, moreover, our stock began to run low. 

In these days, since the white man put a check on canni- 
balism, meat is difficult for the natives to obtain ; the favourite 
monkey stew comes their way now and again certainly, 
when a trapper is successful, but not much to fill many 
mouths ; once a year perhaps a windfall in the way of an 
elephant, but little enough does each man get of it, when 
there are at least two hundred people fighting for scraps. 
So, like the salt, the meat question assumes great importance 
on the advent of a white man, and he is usually worried to 
come out and shoot monkeys, or elephants with tusks (so 
they say) the biggest ever seen. 

Unlike the majority of the Ituri forest tribes, the Wanandi 
and Wambuba use very little powdered camwood or ngula 
either as a dye or to paint themselves with. This is rather 
to be wondered at as it is so extensively used throughout 
the rest of the forest region. Regarding this rosy-coloured 
camwood, it struck me that there should be a lucrative 
trade with it amongst certain tribes, the Masai for instance ; 
for natives who use red dye, and in whose country nothing 
producing it grows, will pay any price for it in blocks or 
otherwise. 

For the next ten days we wandered on through the forest 
accompanied by our cheery Wanandi porters, to whom we 
took a great liking in spite of their nasty customs. Once 

174 



Wambuba Cannibals 

we caught a view of the resplendent snow-caps of the Ruwen- 
zori mountains as we mounted some outstanding spur of 
the Great Rift and then again came down to the curving 
palm-clad banks of the rushing Semliki. The early morning 
in the mist-hung forest perhaps gave the most wonderful 
effects of all. At this hour one seems to walk in an en- 
chanted land, for then the sunbeams push slantwise through 
the pearly mist at all angles, forming long ladders of light 
through the dim trees, and seeming to surround and smother 
the passing traveller as if in a giant cobweb, as he peers his 
way along. 

After climbing the escarpment and traversing much 
difficult and broken country, we found ourselves for the last 
time on the Congo-Nile divide, at the southernmost limit 
of a plateau country, a day's march south of the old Belgian 
post of Boga. Here, extensive areas of long elephant grass 
were interspersed with patches of the now receding forest, 
the nights too were cold and the air exhilarating after the 
oppressiveness of the valley. 

On this southern arm of the Bahuku plateau stands 
Serimani's village which we had now reached, and west of 
this lies a wild, broken and unknown forest-clad country, 
styled for the want of a better name '' Marsula's country,'' 
(Marsula being a powerful chief residing there). This is 
the stronghold of the untamed element of the Wambuba 
cannibals. 

Having made a friend of the chief Serimani by shooting 
an elephant that was laying waste his young maize crop 
and presenting him with its tusks, he volunteered to guide 
me into it and show me a place where the elephants had big 
ivory and a white man had never been. 

175 



The Eastern Congo 

With my licence in my pocket, such a chance was the 
very one I awaited, and my faithful Wanandi porters being 
ready to follow me anywhere, no time was lost in getting 
under way. We struck out due west from Serimani's, 
literally pushing our way through the veritable tangle of 
bamboo-like grass, wild bananas and thick forest that hide 
the steep sides of the many affluents of the Itoa River which 
have their source on this side of the watershed. 

On the third day, the forest becoming continuous and 
even more dense than before, it was hard to give credence 
to our guide's assurance that we would presently emerge 
into open country again, but as he stuck to his contention 
I had perforce to believe him. At midday we reached what 
must have been the western edge of the plateau for it was 
marked by a steep escarpment over which we gained an 
extensive view of the central Ituri valley stretching away, 
it seemed, almost into the brooding mists of the great Congo 
River itself. On this eminence at an elevation of 4,700 
feet I made camp, as Serimani stated that we were now 
only a short walk away from the open elephant country, 
about which I had heard so much and which by this time 
I was most anxious to see. 

Being known as Ingelesi and not as '' Bulamatari* in 
search of taxes," in the afternoon we were visited by bodies 
of the most barbaric Wambuba cut-throats that can well 
be imagined. Hung with weird ornaments, some of them 
capped with skin head-dresses and others wearing okapi 
skin belts, and carrying bows and arrows, knives, spears, 

* Bulamatari or Bula-matadi means literally the stone-breaker, the name 
given to Stanley by the natives and which has now become the designation 
applied to the Belgians by all Congo natives. The name has its origin in the 
early road -making efforts of Stanley in the region of the cataracts. 

176 




C Wambuba Cannibals (not Pygmies) cooking 
monkev meat in the Semliki Forest. 




CE. Pygmies shooting with bow and arrow. The pads or 
pouches described by the Author can be seen on 
their left wrists. They are standing behind one 
of the semi -aerial roots of a giant forest tree. 



-^v 




Wambuba Cannibals 

axes and knobbed sticks of all shapes and sizes, and others 
again with elephant-tusk trumpets slung round their necks, 
they were a fearsome crowd that passed that day in review 
before us. Where meat was concerned they were tigers, 
and later on fought tooth and nail for every scrap of the two 
elephants I shot, including their thick hide and bones. At 
this bloody battle a terrible sight for any ordinary individual 
to witness, I gained, as never before, an insight into the meat- 
lust of the cannibal — the human hyaena — knowledge which 
seemed to lend a chill to the hot sunshine as if for a moment 
a cold wind had passed by. I pictured them in my mind's 
1 eye cutting up their dead victim, squabbling over the tit- 
bits and afterwards doing other fearful things with those 
chipped crocodile teeth of theirs. 
j At intervals in the course of the night trumpet signals 
' could be heard calling to other '* hysenas " below the escarp- 
, ment (I heard no drum-signalling in this country), no doubt 
; spreading the disturbing news of our visit and its object. 
I left the camp early next morning and under the guidance 
of two local criminals, we followed the over-night spoor of 
\ some elephants, which took us in the course of half an hour 
out of the forest on to an undulating long-grass country 
of large extent, bounded on one side by the dense forest, 
on the other by the lip of the steep escarpment I have pre- 
viously mentioned. In many ways it was an astonishing 
kind of place — an island of grass in a sea of forest. There 
were but few trees upon it, and the line of demarcation between 
grass and forest was sharply defined, as if neither would 
concede one inch of the ground they each occupied. 

Having got well out into the open I climbed a solitary 
tree, from which vantage point I could look out over the 

177 N 



The Eastern Congo 

tall grasses at the country beyond. To the eye of the hunter 
the sight that met my gaze was vastly interesting, for dotted 
about the landscape in every direction were lines and bunches 
of elephants, most of them at this early hour moving slowly 
along feeding as they went. As I looked at the verdant 
green of the greater part of this tract of country, the reason 
for the presence of this great concourse of elephants became 
apparent in the fact that large stretches of the old, dry grass 
had been completely burnt off within the last two months, 
a new and succulent crop having sprung up in its place. 
This new grass stood about three feet high and its juicy 
growth had attracted most if not all the elephants in the 
neighbourhood. 

Apart from the value of their ivory and the exciting 
sport of hunting them, elephants always interest me and I 
have often stood by the hour watching these old-world animals 
at their ponderous antics, to my great entertainment. One 
time it might be they were taking a mud-bath in which thej' 
rolled, becoming for the time being a species of mud-cakec 
saurian ; on another occasion they were perhaps in a drj 
and waterless country, and would cool themselves by putting 
the trunk down the throat and drawing off the water fron 
their stomachs, douching their backs with it ; then agaii 
I have seen them taking an afternoon nap lying flat dowr 
on the ground like pigs (this contrary to the tale one hear 
of elephants never lying down to sleep), when a man ma] 
go up and touch them and come to no harm if the wind b' 
right. I have, too, seen them butting one another in pldiy 
fighting in earnest, and love-making in earnest too. What 
ever they are doing they are always worth watching an< 
I can imagine nothing more interesting than a full day span 

178 



Wambuba Cannibals 

at a place like Api in the Uele district of the Belgian Congo, 
where the Government have an elephant farm and thirty-six 
tame African elephants trained to do various work, such 
as ploughing, hauling and lifting. 

The elephants that I found in this remote corner of the 
Wambuba country were the tamest I have ever known ; 
as Serimani has told me, '' they had forgotten the sound 
of a gun if they had ever heard one," and the taint of man 
on the air disturbed them not at all. They owned the country 
here right enough, as the natives knew to their cost in rifled 
and broken banana groves and smashed huts ; they would 
get out of the way for nobody and even after I had killed 
two of their number and wounded a third, the others moved 
on a few hundred yards only and began feeding again. How- 
ever there was one thing that did disturb them, for unlike 
all the antelope species whose degree of intelligence will 
not enable them to connect the smell of blood with danger 
to themselves, the elephant realises it perfectly well, so the 
following day's orgie saw the last of the retreating herds 
topping the rise in the far distance. 

As there were many cows and calves and but few good 
bulls amongst the herds, I had an exciting day's chase after 
the two elephants I eventually bagged. To go into the details 
of the hunt is unnecessary and would doubtless bore the 
indulgent reader, as such descriptions have lost their novelty 
in these days, and moreover, for those who are interested, 
I have added a chapter on elephants and their ways at the 
end of this volume. 

As I wended my way home to camp after the day's 
sport, I passed many more elephants quite undisturbed by 
the sound of my rifle and still unconscious of any danger. 

179 



The Eastern Congo 

The carnival on the following day was literally a putting 
away of flesh as the dictionary has it. The human vultures 
and hyaenas, amongst which were many pygmies, gathered! 
to the feast from miles around and had only been waiting 
for the word "go." Even before my. men could reach the 
carcases in the morning, the local savages had started cutting 
away at them and had in fact been doing so most of the night. 
It was only with difficulty and after a stand-up fight that 
my carriers got any meat for themselves. When I arrived 
on the scene what remained of the dead elephants was hidden 
beneath a mass of shouting and swaying humanity, surrounded 
by a ring of naked hags who stood to catch pieces of meat 
thrown to them as it was cut off by their men-folk on the 
carcase. I had grave doubts about ever seeing my tusks 
again, and kind of wondered if these cannibals were in the 
habit of eating ivory as well as skin and bone. 

Eventually, however, all was over, bar the everlasting' 
shouting of the African negro at his worst, when I was 
thankful to get away with my ivory* and take the track tc' 
Irumu followed by our, by now, bloated porters. 

On our way to this important Government centre w( 
passed the valley of the Loya which is also completely over 
run with elephants, but as we neared Irumu we founc 
ourselves in an upland pastoral country with the homel} 
sound of lowing cattle falling pleasantly on the ear after th< 
savagery of the Semliki. 

* These tusks were of the semi-forest type, having a section of blacJ 
" staining " running through the ivory, to which I have referred in Chapter XV 
and were long, without much of a curve to them. 



i8o 



I 



CHAPTER XIII 

WESTWARD TO STANLEYVILLE — OUR LAST " SAFARI " 

— THE ITURI FOREST — GOLD, IVORY, 

MAMMALS AND MEN. 

" And so, at last the hut-tops peer out amid the. trees. 
And heathen words of greeting come Heating on the breeze ; 
Behind the belt of brushwood dark shadows come a7td go, 
Where swaddled shapes, like dancing apes, 
Come forth to mouth and mow — 

The twilight broods in the heavens. 
And all the West's aglow." 

"On Patrol," Verse V. By CuUen Gouldsbury. 

AFTER the cool of the forest the last stages of our 
journey into Irumu seemed doubly hot and trying, 
both my wife and myself therefore looked forward 
with considerable satisfaction to a rest and a few luxuries 
on our arrival there. Alas, however, for our hopes in the 
latter direction, for we found the stores contained neither 
wine, spirits, nor tinned food. Butter, milk and a few 
vegetables we did obtain, however, and so with these we 
had to rest content. 

All that time, ivory was the one thing with which Irumu 
seemed to be concerning itself ; it had reached an absurdly 
high figure owing to a fictitious rise on the home market and 
the price then ruling was something in the neighbourhood 
of one hundred and thirty francs per kilo. In consequence 
the ivory trade was brisk, to say the least of it, and the search 
for the stuff fast and furious. I was pounced upon by both 
white and Indian traders immediately I entered the town- 
ship, who would hardly believe me when I informed them 
that I was not selling my ivory. 

i8i 



The Eastern Congo 

As the Irumu district had been a game reserve for ten 
years past and had recently been thrown open again for 
elephant shooting, some very big tusks were being obtained 
by Dutch and native elephant hunters, and specimens 
weighing over one hundred pounds were frequently being 
brought in for sale. Intriguing for ivory was going on from 
Irumu to Mbeni and back again. Old tusks that had been 
buried for years were being dug up. The word had gone 
forth into the forest that ivory was worth a fabulous price 
and all the forest tribes were placing their great harpoon 
elephant spears in all the most likely places they could 
think of, in the hope of winning a fortune. Later on, as 
we made our way down the Ituri Valley, we continually 
met ivory — ivory being carried in big lots and in little lots — 
great single '' forest " tusks, black and shining, worth one 
hundred and twenty pounds or more, perhaps owned by 
a pygmy, who passed staggering under the weight of his 
possession, or long thin cow tusks tied into loads of three 
or four pieces — all were going to feed the ivory market. 
Yes, the elephant folk were having a harassing time of 
it, through the whim, possibly, of a few Americans who 
had an idea of cornering ivory away on the other side of the 
world. The boom broke several traders in the Congo and 
crippled many more, for the price dropped as suddenly as 
it rose. 

Irumu, which stands at the junction of the Ituri with 
the Shari River, is an uninteresting and rambling kind of 
a place, made worse, at the time of our visit, by the smoke 
of bush fires which constantly enveloped it. The place 
has a neglected appearance, due to some extent to the in- 
decision of the Government over the question of its abandon- 

182 




d, Balega Women from near Irumu. They cover themselves with 
small bunches of green leaves in front and a handful of banana 
fibres behind, which, however, only succeeds in enhancing 
their nakedness. In spite of their 25 years' contact with 
whites, these natives are untouched, as yet, by civilization. 




C On the left of the photograph an Elephant's Tusk of 
white ivory from the grass country is shown in com- 
parison with black ivory from the Ituri Forest. 







C[, A Mobira Woman with a cut and extended upper 
lip, in which is placed a disc of wood. This practice 
is dying out. The cause for thus disfiguring 

themselves goes back to the old Arab slave 
days when an ugly woman had a better 
chance of escaping slavery than a comely one. 



Our Last " Safari " 

ment for a new site at Bunia on the Kilo-Lake Albert road, 
one and a half days' march to the north-west, where there 
is a wireless installation. The south-west corner of Lake 
Albert lies three days' journey to the east of the present 
township and the Kilo gold mines are the same distance 
to the north. 

Dutchmen — and lately some Englishmen — have been 
quick to realise the opportunity afforded for farming and 
agriculture by the suitability of the neighbourhood, its 
healthy climate, heavy rainfall, rich soil and the increasing 
market of the Kilo mines. The terms of land tenure are 
the most equitable I know of in Africa to-day, and there is 
a decided advantage in the accessibility of the district through 
the Uganda Railway. 

The wealth of the Belgian Congo is perhaps nowhere 
better exemplified than in this north-eastern portion of 
the territory, for here lie some of the richest alluvial gold 
areas in the world, how rich no one can at present estimate, 
and they stand in a well-watered, upland country, in every 
way suitable for white settlement, where native labour is 
abundant and cheap and on the edge of a limitless forest, 
containing — as well as giant timbers — oil and rubber and 
a never-ending supply of beautiful ivory. 

The Kilo-Moto gold mines were discovered by a prospector 
named Hannam some fifteen years ago. From the outset 
there has been considerable mismanagement over these 
wonderfully rich mines, and in spite of good advice, the 
Belgians have followed, until recently, a careless policy 
regarding them. Rightly handled there should be by this 
time a large and thriving township in the vicinity second 
to none in the whole colony, but opportunities have been 

183 



The Eastern Congo 

refused or frittered away and the methods employed to 
obtain the gold remained for many years in the same primitive 
stage as when the industry first commenced. The gold, 
which is found in alluvial form over a large area, has been 
scraped and dug for with but little attention to system or 
method, with the result that only some fifty-six per cent, 
of the actual gold present in the soil has been collected, the 
remaining forty-four per cent, being thrown aside with the 
deposit containing it into big dumps, after a single washing 
over sluice-boxes, resulting in a considerable portion of it 
being carried away and lost, by exposure to the heavy rains. 
Before and during the Great War, the Belgians, as if afraid 
of foreigners within their gates or unable to be masters in 
their own country, in a weak moment decided that no one 
should be allowed in or around these mines without a special 
permit from the Governor of the colony, and the permission 
I am told was difficult to obtain. What there was to be 
afraid of in anyone viewing the mines without this fuss it 
is difficult to see, for alluvial gold is hardly picked up by 
the handful even in the Congo. 

In spite of mismanagement, however, and the wasteful 
methods of working the alluvial wash, twenty-three tons 
of gold valued at £3,600,000 were obtained from the State 
mines of Kilo and Moto up to the end of the year 1919 ; 
one nugget being found weighing a little less than four 
and a half kilos. 

In the last eighteen months there has been another period 
of increased activity, and the running of the mines placed 
in the hands of an organised company with shareholders — 
styled the Regie des Mines de Kilo-Moto — under the manage- 
ment of one of Belgium's most able colonial administrators, 

184 



Our Last " Safari " 

Vice-Gouvemeur Moulaert, who is carrying out much-needed 
reforms and supervising the erection of up-to-date machinery 
for the working of the reef. Metalled roads connecting 
the mines with Lake Albert on the east and with Redjaf 
and the Nile to the north, at which the Belgians have been 
working for several years now, have been pushed forward 
and are in a fair way to reaching their goal. 

The mines yield at present about three thousand kilograms 
yearly, but this output will be greatly added to when the 
new machinery comes into operation. The reef yields about 
fourteen grammes to the ton, the alluvial deposit three 
grammes. 

All the creeks and gullies in the Kilo mountains yield 
gold, and as prospecting is active, new deposits are continually 
being found. There is another promising mine on the lower 
Ituri River at a place called Senguli which we shall no doubt 
hear more of later ; it is being worked by the Forminiere 
Company who are also importing machinery to increase 
its production. Then farther again to the south, there is 
a rich reef running, it is supposed, along the marginal 
mountains west of the Semliki and Lake Edward, but as 
yet undiscovered and only known to exist through the alluvial 
wash brought down by the Ibima and Lindi Rivers and their 
affluents. 

It is worthy of note that most of the great divides of 
Africa hold mineral riches, and it has always been a source 
of astonishment to me that so little attention was ever paid 
to prospecting on the Anglo-Belgian frontier at the southern 
extremity of what was known as the Lado enclave. This 
is the more to be wondered at when the significant fact of 
the proximity of the Mo to mine to this divide is so evident. 

185 



The Eastern Congo 



It was therefore with Httle surprise that I read the announce- 
ment of Mr. Robert WilUams, that his group had at last 
formed a syndicate (the Nile-Congo Divide Syndicate) to 
prospect this promising area. There is every reason to 
suppose that the venture will be highly successful. 

I had it in mind to visit that interesting district known 
as the Uele which borders on the Bahr-el-Ghazal, but deciding 
that for entomological purposes the great forest of the Ituri 
would yield me a richer harvest than the Uele valley, I 
decided to terminate the expedition by adopting a homeward 
route across the four hundred and sixty-five miles of forest 
that separates Irumu from Stanleyville on the Congo River. 
Both my wife and myself were beginning to feel wayworn 
after our long journey and the hard life we led, so we decided 
that if we accomplished this last excursion, we would be 
due a holiday and would have made a thorough biological 
survey of the eastern Congo. 

Having come to this decision we lost no time in making 
preparations for the last lap, as we termed it. Owing partly 
however to an outbreak of smallpox and the consequent 
restrictions on the movements of natives, as well as other 
causes, we were condemned to a tiresome wait at Irumu 
of nearly three weeks. It was therefore well on into March 
before porters could be obtained for us and we set our faces 
to the west. 

Our porters on this occasion were a band of half-breed 
pygmies from the lower Ituri, few of them over four feet six 
inches in height, who carried our loads on their backs with 
fibre slings passed around the forehead; so if the load 
happened to be a fairly large and long one, the carrier became 
completely hidden behind it. This method of portage, as 

i86 




M _0 CL, 



-=; s o 



o s 



oH 



^ <v o 

^'^^ 
O 'n <v 

^ u > 

W^ O 



m 






o 



>C 






CD 




Our Last " Safari " 

might be expected, caused us much tribulation and gnashing 
of teeth, for our goods and chattels not being adjusted to 
meet this topsy-turvy method of carriage, suffered 
accordingly. 

Some of these little devils took it into their heads to 
run away the day after we left Irumu, thus causing a further 
delay until others could be obtained. Whilst this was 
being done we put up in a rest-house on the Ituri River. 
The river at this crossing is about one hundred yards broad 
and forms the division between the long grass country of 
the plateau and the dense forest of the lower Itrui basin. 

When the runaways were replaced therefore, we once 
more plunged into the great forest, which was to continue 
without break for the remainder of our journey. 

As the season of the big rains was commencing, heavy 
afternoon storms were our lot as we made our way through 
the damp forest, the discomforts of travelling at this season 
being mitigated, however, by numerous rest-houses en route, 
built by the order of the Government for the use of their 
officials. 

Comparatively speaking — with the exception of the 
Glossina palpalis, the carrier of sleeping-sickness, in the 
neighbourhood of the rivers — insect pests are not too ob- 
trusive in the central Ituri forest. Owing to its good 
drainage and lack of marshes, mosquitoes are infrequent ; 
I that dangerous, grey, night-feeding tick (known colloquially 
in the Congo as the kimputu), which has become such a 
scourge elsewhere in Africa as the carrier of the dreaded 
relapsing or spirillum fever, is non-existent ; the white ants 
are small and not often met with, and there are few if any 
jigger fleas (the bane of the porter) away from the white 

187 



The Eastern Congo 

settlements ; excepting sand-flies comparatively few noxious 
flies are encountered and roofs of houses are no longer the 
prey of the borer beetle. Regarding diseases in this forest 
region, smallpox and dysentery are rare, yaws and elephan- 
tiasis prevalent but not common. Leucoderma is one of 
the commonest diseases that has come before my notice, 
and may be easily mistaken for leprosy by reason of the 
whitening of the affected parts. It appears to be a harmless 
disease in its less severe forms, as it does not incapacitate 
the sufferer in any way, and many of our porters, who were 
carrying heavy loads, had it. All the natives in the number- 
less villages we passed seemed an exceedingly healthy and 
strong race of men, and we ourselves never experienced a 
day's illness during our four months' sojourn within the forest. 
The nights are often very oppressive but walking beneath 
the forest shade on a fine day, without the glare of a tropical 
sun to sap the strength, is a pleasure, and there is always the 
ever-turning kaleidoscope of nature to watch as one passes 
along. 

From the foregoing it may be gathered that travelling 
through the Ituri forest is not as bad as it is often painted. 
The trip from Irumu to Stanleyville is an education in itself 
and may well be made by anybody in these days — taking 
ordinary precautions — without any ill-effects to the health. 

From the first crossing of the Ituri River near Irumu, 
the track carries one due west along the north side of the 
valley to the Haulo or Epulu River which is reached after 
six days' marching, and three days beyond the old Arab 
town of '' Mombasa." This river, with its coffee-coloured 
water, is exceedingly picturesque, especially where we crossed 
it one day above its junction with the Ituri. Here it is 

i88 



Our Last "Safari" 

deep and broad, and the dark forest trees overhang it as if 
they fain would clasp their giant limbs across. 

The Haulo* River comes down from the Uele-Ituri water- 
shed through an unexplored valley and to the east of the 
little known Wamba forest, a stronghold of the elephant, 
the red buffalo, the bongo, the okapi, the giant forest hog, 
and the dwarf mountain elephant (the yiya of the Mombutu). 
Here one hears tales of curious animals perhaps unknown 
to science — a few of them, however, recognisable from the 
native descriptions, such as the water chevrotainf and the 
tree hyrax. 

Through the English papers we had of course heard of 
the brontosaurus and the proposed expeditions that had 
set forth, or were about to set forth, to find it. Of course 
amongst them there was the inevitable American expedition 
which, it was said, had offered a million or two for a specimen, 
dead or alive. Then there was, I think, an English army 
captain, lately demobilised, who, it was reported, was taking 
a Mannlicher rifle and a shot-gun — or was it a Lewis gun ? — 
as well as his pet fox-terrier, to aid him in his search amongst 
the swamps of Lake Leopold IL As we now know, nothing 
came of it and nothing more was heard of the expeditions ; 
possibly they did not carry their search far enough or did 
not reach the right place. Regarding the origin of the report 
of such an animal having been seen, the yarn goes that a 
prospector with a penchant for practical joking met an 
American missionary on *' safari," to whom he spun a yarn 
about a fabulous monster he had seen the night before. The 

* This river is named the Epulu on modem maps of the Belgian Congo, 
but it is known locally as the Hawlo or Haulo. 

t The native name of the chevrotain is ngimgu and the tree-hyrax 
[Proeavia mxrmota) is named nguyu. 

189 



The Eastern Congo 

missionary being a *' tenderfoot '* believed him and wrote 
to his friends in America, where Renter's reporters got hold 
of the story. Be that as it may, the natives in many parts 
of Central Africa believe in the existence of a gigantic water 
animal* which has been described to me by the Buanga 
natives inhabiting the swamps of the south of Lake Bang- 
weulu, as a water rhinoceros ; they had even a name for it, 
which was chimpelwi, and described it as able to kill a hippo- 
potamus with which it was in the habit of fighting ; the bones 
of one of these animals, they averred, were to be found in 
the swamps. 

An authenticated case of a white man having seen such 
an animal was told me by the man himself, an acquaintance 
of mine named Defries. It is, of course, necessary to state 
he is an extremely abstemious man, besides being a good 
sportsman, a trained naturalist, and for a considerable period 
rubber conservator for North-western Rhodesia. When 
carrying out his duties in the latter capacity he had reason 
to pass by a small lake between Lakes Chaa and Kapopo 
on the upper Kafue River. This lake or rather lakelet 
is so deep as to be unfathomable, and has moreover no visible 
outlet. 

Defries put up his tent near by and towards evening 
whilst strolling to the water's edge with his rifle, he was 
astonished to see a massive form lying or floating on the 
water. Now, Defries was a very old resident in Central 
Africa and knew a hippo as you, dear reader or I, know a 
bull in a field, perhaps better, and he emphatically states 
it was not a hippo. He describes it as a long, dark floating 
body, at which he fired and which he hit, being not more 

* This is also the case on the Victoria Nyanza. — H. H. J. 

190 



Our Last " Safari " 

than sixty yards from it, whereupon the animal disappeared 
amidst a considerable commotion in the water. He never 
saw the beast again although he waited the whole of the 
next day on the off-chance, and moreover he examined the 
complete circle of the lake for spoor, but could find no large 
tracks of any description either leading to or from the water. 
He reported the matter to Sir Robert Codrington, who was 
then the Administrator of Northern Rhodesia, and wrote 
a report to some museum authorities and there the matter 
dropped. 

This is the only authentic case, as far as I know, of a 
trained observer having seen, and reported intelligently, 
such a discovery. Knowing the man personally and having 
heard the account from his own lips, I am inclined to believe 
in the existence, or the recent existence, of a gigantic saurian. 

Native tradition, legend or belief, call it what you will, 
bears out this theory. You find it always in lacustrine 
districts and the report has come to me from many places — 
from the Albert Nile, from the Highlands of the Great Craters 
west of Kilimanjaro, from Lake Leopold II, and from Lake 
Bangweulu. My own actual experiences concerning such 
j! an animal confine themselves to the accounts given me by 
the Buanga natives of Bangweulu, and a large-sized native 
drawing of a beast resembling in all essentials a bronto- 
3aurus, which I found on a hut in the Ituri forest. I will 
conclude this diversion by remarking that we know such 
animals did, at one time, exist in Africa, for the largest fossil 
specimen ever discovered — which is known as the giganto- 
saurus and over one hundred feet long — came from German 
East. It is, however, improbable that one of these great 
saurians still exists, although possible that some large water 

191 



The Eastern Congo ^ 

animal may yet be undiscovered, as we have seen from Mr. 
Defries' experience. 

To continue our narrative : two more days brought us 
to the new poste of Penghe on the Ituri River, and as the 
Belgian official was absent we were greatly pleased when, 
two days after our arrival, an Englishman rolled up, by name 
William Cross, one of the most able prospectors of the Kilo I 
Mines. Neither of us realising each other's nationality, we i 
greeted one another with " Bon jour, je suis un anglais** 
at which we laughed heartily. He was a Lancashire man 
and a great raconteur, with an astonishing fund of anecdote, 
and having travelled widely he kept us interested for hours 
at a time. If I remember rightly it was also his birthday, 
and Penghe happened to be the point at which, by his having 
reached it, he had completed a circle round Africa, so we 
asked Monsieur Ericksson, the agent of the Anglo-Belgian 
Intertropical Trading Company then at Penghe up to 
dinner and made a night of it over our solitary bottle 
of whisky. 

Avakubi, a poste founded by Stanley, is the next Govern- 
ment station down-river from Penghe, and is reached from 
the latter place in three days by canoe or five days overland. 
Having had such a lot of foot-slogging we of course took the 
canoes, into which we piled our (by now very dilapidated) 
kit. We occupied a leaf shelter in the centre of one canoe, 
our boys enthroning themselves on our baggage behind, 
and thus, after saying good-bye to our friend Cross, we pushed 
into mid-stream and were soon being borne swiftly along on 
the strong current helped by our lithe Wabali paddlers. 

With my camera lashed to the canoe I exposed many 
feet of cinematograph film on the rich river scenery as it 

192 



Our Last " Safari " 

passed, and again at different stopping places en route I 
obtained some beautiful pictures of feeding butterflies, which 
attracted especial admiration when I had them screened 
in London and Brussels. On the second day after leaving 
Penghe, some rapids having to be negotiated, we had to 
unload the canoes and send our gear round by land. We, 
however, staying where we were, were dexterously piloted 
through the leaping water by our expert oarsmen who accom- 
panied the feat with their musical boating song. Other 
rapids are met with just before reaching Avakubi but these 
being easily negotiated we soon found ourselves across them 
and tying up in front of the homa. 

I Oil palms are not to be seen in any quantity until one 
approaches Avakubi, but from here right down to the Congo 
River they fill the landscape, for the Belgians have fostered 
the oil industry by the good idea of insisting on the natives 
planting annually a certain number of palms, and moreover, 
planting them along all the made roads as well. As the 
palm tree grows, the leaves are cut away or fall off, thus 
forming an ideal lodging place for parasitic ferns and mosses, 
5 each stem becoming after a time a miniature fernery, and 
;thus enhancing the already wonderful forest scenery. 

Avakubi is buried in palms and mangoes, planted there 
in Stanley's time. It is quite a pleasant place, with some 
very good brick houses, and close by a mission station of 
the Sacred Heart. At the time of our visit the Adminis- 
trateur, amongst the multifarious other jobs of a Belgian 
ofiicial already noted previously in this book, was about to 
set out to find the last resting place or rather the resting 
place before the last, of an American prospector who had 
died miles away in the forest (in the kind of place one would 

193 O 



The Eastern Congo 

expect a prospector to die in) seven years ago. The relatives 
had arranged to have his body exhumed and had supphed 
three special nested coffins for the purpose, which were to 
accompany the Belgian official on his weird quest. 

There was, before the drop in the price of rubber, a brisk 
trade in this product at Avakubi and throughout the Stanley- 
ville district. It was collected principally from the Funtumia 
rubber trees which grow to a gigantic size in the Ituri forest, 
but also from the Landolphia vines. The " green " rubber 
is brought in for sale sometimes in big blocks or more usually 
in thick coils, which have to be cut up into sections and dried 
on frames to prevent decay. If this drying process is delayed 
too long, fermentation sets in : the smell thus engendered 
being some ten times worse than a tannery. For this reason 
the neighbourhood of one of these drying houses is very 
much to be avoided. The usual price paid by the trader 
to the natives for the rubber is one franc per kilo and for 
ivory, three to five francs.* A licence for buying rubber 
costs twenty-five francs, and for ivory and general trading 
five hundred francs, but if a plot is rented from the Govern- 
ment and buildings put up, no licence is required for buying 
ivory. The export duty on ivory is two francs ten centimes 
per kilo. 

On the northern bank of another great river, the Lindi, 
which runs down to the Congo on a roughly parallel course 
to that of the Aruwimi, is Bafwasende, to which we now 
turned our steps. The distance is about fifty miles, forest 
and palms all the way. This strip of country between the 
two big rivers is the haunt of a fair abundance of game for 

* Palm oil can be bought at 50 centimes a pint, other nut oils — ground nut 
melon seed, kola, and castor oil — at i franc per pint. 

194 



Our Last " Safari " 

those who have the patience to hunt in the forest ; there 
are many chimpanzis, and the giant yellow-backed duiker,* 
as well as the bongo, the red buffalo and the red forest hog ; 
there is also a small red tufted duiker and the grey pygmy 
duiker, the latter being netted and dried for sale in consider- 
able numbers. We of course saw nothing more of them than 
their spoors, although we several times heard the call of a 
chimpanzi. Nothing more exciting occurred on this part 
of our journey than the snatching away of a little nondes- 
cript dog by a leopard, in the early hours of the morning. 
The poor little beast was the idol of a native woman accom- 
panying our '' safari," who was so attached to it that she 
would wash and comb it daily. It was a dear little thing, 
and as it used to knock about our camp and follow us on 
the day's march both my wife and I became quite fond of it 
too. The owner, although a grown w^oman, cried like a 
child at her loss. 

At Bafwasende we were amongst an interesting and 
intelligent race of negroes called the Wabali, some of whose 
j strange characteristics and customs are well worth recounting 
! here, especially as very little information has ever been 
published concerning them, and moreover, I think it probable 
that the photographs in this chapter illustrating the Mamhela 
ceremonials are unique. 

The Wabali are of Bantu affinities and their country is, 
1 roughly, contained within the districts administered from 
]the postes of Avakubi, Bomili, Panga, Kondololi, Bafw^aboli 
'and Bafwasende ; it does not extend, however, to the north 
'side of the Aruwimi River. The Mamhela secret society 

* The 3''e]low-backed duiker is known amongst the MobaU natives as the 
Moimbo. The red forest hog as the Ngiiia. The bongo is Bavgaria, and the 
black giant hog is known as the Boko. The pygmy duiker is the Mburiiku, 

195 



The Eastern Congo 

and the Anioto sect of Human Leopards are amongst their 
savage customs. These are as singular as any to be met with 
in Africa to-day. 

In spite of these natives being the wildest savages and 
using nothing but bark cloth to cover themselves with, they, 
nevertheless, old and young alike, present a rakish (not to 
say '' nuttish ") appearance, with a strut on them that might 
possibly put an old time hussar in the shade. The said 
appearance is obtained by the men adorning themselves 
with brass armlets and anklets, snake and monkey-skin 
belts, bags, bandoliers and other trinkets, but principally 
by the bobbed, plumed and furred head-dresses they wear, 
set on the head at a rakish angle. Some of these hats are 
works of art, mostly made out of parrot plumes and monkey 
skins, and sometimes held on with ivory pins ; others again 
have a bunch of plumes dangling at the end of a piece of 
springy bamboo. The resemblance of these headgears to 
the whimsical Paris fashions is so striking that one is 
led to believe that the latter must have originated on 
the Congo ! 

Regarding the curious customs of the Wabali, the following 
notes on the Mambela ceremonials and other customs are 
interesting. They were very kindly supplied by my friend 
Monsieur R. d'Aout, the Administrateur of Bafwasende, a 
Belgian official of much intelligence and much liked by the 
weird Wabali. 

Some Customs of the Wabali Tribes. 
Amongst the various tribes which inhabit the Oriental 
Province of the Congo, the Wabali are remarkable for their 
famous religious rites called the Mambela, characterised by 

196 




d. Atubengwele, a Wabali Chief. A savage and interesting per- 
sonality, with just that touch of the born leader that enabled 
him to hold out for ten years against the Belgian rigime. He 
had his lip pierced and extended, as an example to the 
Wabali women to do likewise and so escape the fate of slaves. 




d. The Mubali native on the left is an ishuniu ; 
the man on the right a iatakamambela. Both 
are in the ceremonial costume of the nmnibela. 



Our Last "Safari" 

intricate ceremonies accompanied by wearisome rites and 
great cruelty. The order, as it were, is under the high 
presidency of the Tata-ka-mambela, which title is equivalent to 
" Grand Master of the Mambela/' He alone acts as the 
supreme chief of several clans, when these are not too far 
apart or too numerous. 

The Tata-ka-mambela is appointed by birth. He is 
succeeded in his functions by his own son, or, failing a son, 
one of his nearest relatives. The Tata-ka-mambela is the 
custodian of the fetish. He is assisted by several soothsayers 
or headmen called Ishumic, usually found in most of the 
largest villages, and these are also from birth appointed 
to act later on as Ishumu, 

The Tata-ka-mambela does not bear any distinctive 
insignia, whereas the IsJmmu are distinguishable by several 
rings which they wear on the fingers, a broom made of palm 
fibres and several tattoo marks shaped thus "^ ^ which 
cover their chest, abdomen, shoulders and arms. Probationers 
have the same marks, but on the chest and abdomen only. 

The executive power is vested almost exclusively in 
the Ishumu, which is the reason why they enjoy such a high 
prestige amongst the Babali tribes. Many of them have 
indeed the powers of a minister of State. 

The Babali see in the Mambela rites a system of physical 
culture for children. Initiation is carried out in the following 
manner : — 

All the Babali of the male sex must be initiated. When 
the Tata-ka-mambela, upon the advice of his Ishumu, 
announces that the time of the Mambela is drawing nigh, 
all the boys between ten and fourteen years of age are 
presented to the High Priest by their father, or, in the absence 

197 



The Eastern Congo 



of this latter, by a near relative. Boys stricken down with 
illness are allow^ed to await their recovery. As to those who 
may have left their native village w^hen still too young to 
be initiated, their return would not exempt them from the 
Mamhela rites, for no exemption is admitted and neither 
age nor marriage would justify any dispensation being 
granted. 

On the day of the ceremonies the probationers are brought 
together in the early hours of the morning in the village 
square, where the initiated have been dancing for the greater 
part of the night ; and where they have got ready a quantity 
of twisted rods from two to two and a half metres in 
length, from which, at one end, part of the bark has been 
peeled off. 

At a given signal the w^omen w^ho happen to be in the 
village must withdraw; they may not, under any pretext, 
get near the place where the initiation rites are being carried 
out. Indiscretion on their part would mean instant death. 
When the initiated have made sure that the women have 
withdrawn, a second signal is given. This is the moment 
for the initiated from the neighbouring clans to repair to 
the hut of the Ishumu appointed to preside over the ceremony. 
They all carry several rods as weapons, and fall in, in two 
files, the one behind the other. The probationers to be 
initiated, issue from the hut of the Ishumu and join up to the 
ranks of the initiated, who rain upon them an avalanche 
of blows. The boys are beaten all over the body by all 
the men present, and this is done with such brutality that 
it is not unfrequent for some boys to lose an eye or an ear 
or to be made an invalid for several years to come. However, 
accidents or injuries resulting from flagellation are never 

198 




•T-J 1i 

bog 



D-i 







1j The maitres de danse. 




C The Spartan Feat of a Mubah Native, whose 
half naked-body is being slashed with 
the knotty whip sticks of the mamhela. 



Our Last " Safari " 

made the object of any quarrel. Blows and injuries and 
wounds are borne patiently and without protestation by 
the probationers, and the loss of a limb is even considered 
by them as a good omen. Usually, in this flagellation, which 
is called Kupisa nibaka mulefii and lasts for several hours, 
all the neophytes are covered with blood. 

This performance is followed by the Woko. A delegate 
of the Tata-ka-mamhela or of the Ishumu strikes twice each 
one of the boys with a rod which is somewhat shorter (about 
two metres), in order to announce that the first sitting of the 
flagellation is at an end. Whereupon the neophytes return 
near the hut of the Ishumu, where they remain until the next 
day. During the night great festivities are in progress. 
All the initiated attend as guests. Meanwhile scenes of 
a particularly disgusting nature take place. For instance, 
any initiated who has to relieve nature may do so all over 
the body of one of the wretched neophytes. 

The next morning the Mogo ceremony is gone through. 
All the people of the village go out to the palisade erected 
the previous evening by the initiated with the rods which 
had served for the flagellation. This palisade has an aperture 
called " Door of the Mambela." The initiated go through 
that door, and, provided with fresh rods, fall in in two files. 
The neophytes, stark naked, then go through the door and 
join the ranks of the initiated, who perform anew the flagella- 
tion rite with the same brutality as the first time. The 
neophytes, during this second performance, very often are 
beaten unconscious and lie motionless on the ground. This 
flagellation is called the Mogo. 

Next follows the Mukokoneki rite. Several small and 
very flexible wands have been gathered together wherewith 

199 



The Eastern Congo 

to strike the neophytes on the hands and knees, after which 
one of the delegates seizes a rod and drives them away 
towards the glade, some thirty or forty metres distant from 
the palisade. This anodyne performance is called Poboli, 
When they manage at last to reach the glade, each one of 
the neophytes is administered another stroke of the rod. 
This flagellation is called Makwabo. 

Tattooing 

When the Ishumu, delegated to perform the initiation 
rites, accompanied by the other elders, reaches the glade, 
the neophytes are lined up blindfolded. The Ishumu, armed 
with a small knife called soda proceeds, by small leaps 
and bounds, towards the neophytes, and very skilfully makes 
eight incisions on their skin, four to the right and four to 
the left, shaped thus: '^ (^ Whilst this operation 
lasts other Ishumu are fanning the chests of the neophytes 
with feathers of the bird called Nasasa, whilst others, with 
small boards, very flexible and revolving round a pivot, 
imitate the flight of the sacred bird, the gongs meanwhile 
being beaten en sourdine. It is supposed that the Nasasa 
bird itself, with his bill, is making the incisions. 

This ceremony over, the neophytes cover themselves 
with banana leaves, which serve as a dressing for their 
wounds. They are then led back to the hut of the Ishumu, 
retracing their steps through the door of the palisade. There, 
they are given very severe instructions. They must in 
particular keep the most absolute secret concerning the 
Mambela, on pain of being put to death by poison. They 
must believe that the agency was the sacred bird Nasasa, 
whose flight they heard and whose wings they felt on their 

200 



Our Last "Safari" 

chest, which made the incisions. This bird is an object of 

I worship and must never be killed, 

' This flagellation, which was administered to them with 

so much cruelty, has for its object the hardening of their 
body into endurance, and serves as a sort of preUminary 

I test before making the incisions, which are very painful 
and cause a great loss of blood. 

On the third day, in the small hours of the morning, there 
takes place the final flagellation, the object of which is to 

. exercise and render more supple the limbs of the neophytes. 

I This is called Mhaka midefii. It does not last more than 

i an hour after which the newly initiated are led into the forest 

I where they are to spend several weeks in deep meditation. 
Arrived at the place where they are to remain in seclusion, 
they may wash their body for the last time until their wounds 
have completely healed up, and then they may anoint them- 
selves with palm oil. 

jji Observations on the Rules and Instructions to be 

COMPLIED WITH DURING THE TIME OF PROBATION. 

(i) From the moment the tattooing (incision) ceremony 
is over, the newly initiated bear the name of Maganza — 
which means young men. They are put, several together, 
into one hut and placed under the supervision of a guardian. 
This supervision lasts two or three months — even as long 
as six months — according to the customs peculiar to each of 
the various WabaU tribes. 

The probation period being over, the newly initiated are, 
according to the native expression, " ducked into the water,'' 
and are hereafter entitled to be called Babali, that is to say 
" men." 

201 



The Eastern Congo 

(2) The p robationers may not have their hair cut whilst 
they are undergoing probation. 

(3) The Maganza wear round their neck a heavy, collar 
made of palm-wine tree (raphia) fibres. 

(4) During the period of probation the Maganza are for- 
bidden to look at any of the large beasts of the forests, such 
as buffaloes, elephants, antelopes, under penalty of being 
flagellated for their so doing. 

If a Maganza should come across such a beast, dead 
or stricken down, he must immediately inform his father 
or a near relative, who would at once repair to the spot in 
order to remove the head and the feet of the animal and hide 
them. When this has been done the rest of the carcass may 
be looked at. 

(5) Whilst they are on probation the newly initiated may 
not approach a woman or even look at her. 

The Maduali 
The Maduali — also called Nyama ya Mamhela — which 
means " the Beast of the Mambela " — is nothing else but 
the fetish entrusted to the custody of the Tata-ka-mamhela. 
In other words, it is a roughly carved piece of wood representing 
the sacred bird Nasasa. When rain is wanted, or when 
it has been raining too long, or upon the occasion of certain 
festivals, they remove a few pieces from the Maduali figure- 
head, cover them with foliage, and the men go in procession 
through the village, singing and shouting. Women and 
children must keep away and not look at the Maduali. 

Evolution of the Mambela Rite. 
(i) The Mambela rite is observed by all the Wabali 

202 



I 




PU 



Our Last " Safari " 

tribes, without exception. General observances are every- 
where the same, and may never have been altered, at any 
rate in recent times. 

(2) Flagellation is of a somewhat milder form in those 
clans which are nearer to the Government station. 

(3) The seclusion of the newly initiated in the midst of 
the forest was formerly of much less duration ; those whose 
wounds had not as yet healed up were allowed to complete 
their recovery in their own village, although in a hut intended 
for that purpose. The longer period of seclusion in the forest 
is attributable to the immigrant Arabs, who caused same to 
be imposed so that they themselves might have better chance 
of going hunting. 

(4) In normal times, flagellation may be tolerated and 
considered as an amusement rather than as a rehgious penance, 
for in this case it is carried out with much less cruelty, inas- 
much as the probationers have their body well protected 
against the strokes of the rod. Custom will have it that, 
upon the return from a hunt which has been fructuous, to 
cite but one instance, the hunters are welcomed back to 
the village with dancing, one of the features of which is 
reciprocal flagellation with rods. 

The Barumbi and Bakumu of Bafwasende. Palavers : 
Marriage for a Dowry. 
Palavers between natives in the territory of Bafwasende 
are mostly in reference to women. Certain rules are scrupu- 
lously observed by the natives as to the way such palavers 
should be conducted. These rules are frequently as follows : 
(a) If a husband should die, his heirs claim the wife 
and legitimate children of the deceased. 

203 



The Eastern Congo 

It very often happens that the widow refuses to cohabit I 
with one of the heirs ; in this case, a portion of her dowry, i 
very often a moiety thereof, is returned to the heirs. If 
the widow re-marries a man who does not belong to her 
deceased husband's clan, she is allowed to have the custody 
of her children until they are of marriageable age. 

{b) If a wife should die in the hut of her husband, this 
latter, in such case, is not entitled to claim any portion of 
her dowry, but he has the custody of the children — issue 
of their union. 

{c) It a wife should die away from home, in the midst 
of her own family, or if she has been dismissed by her husband 
or gone away with his permission, the husband, in such 
case, and if he has no children, is entitled to a portion only 
of his wife's dowry. But if he should have a child, he is 
barred out altogether. The child or children, issue of his 
union, remain with him. 

{d) If the wife should run away from home and desert i 
her husband in order to get married elsewhere, the husband, 
in such case, is entitled to the whole of her dowry and has 
the custody of the children issue of his marriage. 

(e) If the husband should repudiate his wife and drive 
her away from the conjugal domicile, he is, in such case, 
entitled to a portion of her dowry proportionately to the 
length of time his wife lived with him. If there be any 
children issue of the marriage, they reside with their mother 
until they are of age to arrive at a decision as to what they 
intend to do. If the children are girls, their father will 
later on be entitled to claim part of their dowry. 

(/) If a polygamous wife or a wife acquired by heritage 
should be desirous of regaining her liberty, she is given every 

204 




d, African Bugs (immature forms of Fulgoridae sp?) 
mimicking a spray of flowers. From the Katanga 
Highlands of the Belgian Congo. The abdomen of 
this insect is covered with fluff resembling feathers. 






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Our Last "Safari" 

facility to do so, but a portion of her dowry goes to the husband 
or to the heir, proportionately to the length of time spent 
with her husband. 

In case a polygamous wife should leave her husband 
to go and get married elsewhere, a portion of her dowry 
would be handed back to her. 

A Few Customs of the Babali. 
(i) Edemi. The Babali meet from time to time to discuss 
together some new undertaking, as, for instance, the selection 
of a new site whereon to rebuild their village, new planta- 
tions to be cultivated, some elephant hunt, and so on. Every 
man is entitled to express his opinion on the subject under 
discussion, one of the elders having, in the last instance, 
a casting vote on the resolution which must be carried out. 

(2) Ambembe. When a notable, or some woman par- 
ticularly esteemed, fall seriously ill, the women and girls 
of the village meet together in front of the hut of the sick, 
and each of them goes in turn into the hut and leaves a drop 
of her saliva on the face of the sick to wish him or her a 
prompt recovery. This custom is called Ambembe. 

(3) Exchange of Wives. The Babali exchange their 
wives. The dowry is always represented by another woman, 
very often by a young girl of ten to fourteen years of age. 
If both women so exchanged should bear children, their 
marriage is confirmed, also if they have no children. But 
if one of the wives so exchanged is fruitful and the other 
sterile, the husband of this latter is entitled to indemnifica- 
tion in the shape of another wife. Europeans are greatly 
opposed to this exchange of wives, and still more so to the 
surrender of young girls by way of dowry. 

205 



^ 



The Eastern Congo 



From the foregoing it will be seen that the Babali are 
indeed a curious mixture — intelligence and barbarity, vanity, 
cruelty and superstition are mixed up with such likeable 
qualities as politeness, good nature, cheerfulness, unlimited 
patience, and dog-like trust in the white man, with no real 
malice or vice in their composition. One takes a liking to 
them as one would to a good dog and in spite of oneself. 
Dog eats dog sometimes but nevertheless they may still 
be likeable. The fact is one cannot judge the Babali by 
human standards. If one attempts to do this one is filled 
with loathing at their barbarous customs and cannibal 
propensities. 

The sinister streak of extravagant superstition in their 
natures has been appealed to in some way by the cannibal 
sect known through West Africa as the Society of Human 
Leopards — but known amongst the Babali as the Anioto 
— which claims many devotees amongst them. 

As far as I am aware, until the last few years, this sect 
confined its unhuman practices to the west coast of Africa 
— Lagos, the Gold Coast, Liberia. The sect was hunted 
down and stamped out in the British Colonies some years 
ago, but would seem to be rampant in the negro state of 
Liberia as will be seen from the following cutting, out of 
The African World : — 

'' The Society of Human Leopards. 
*' The artificial civilisation of a superstitious race never 
altogether eradicates their superstitions, but it may modify 
them. Man in this respect is like the performing dog escaped 
from the circus ; he readily goes back to nature. There 
is a savage side to certain African aborigines which is only 

206 



Our Last " Safari " 

to be satisfied by the mystery of a secret society with murder 
and frequently cannibaHsm as its aim. The suppression 
in British territories of the barbarous leopard societies has 
not led to their entire disappearance from the coast. Presi- 
dent King, in his address to the Liberian Parliament, re- 
ferred to an extensive recrudescence of the savage activities 
of leopard societies amongst the aborigines of the Montserrat 
and Gora districts of the Liberian Republic. Land and water 
travel has become increasingly unsafe. Unhappily, we are 
told that legal technicalities have been responsible for failure 
in the prosecution of members of these societies, and con- 
sequently their prestige has been enhanced. The President 
of Liberia reports that plenary powers have been secured, 
and it is to be hoped that the activity of this reversion to 
savagery and barbarism may be stamped out. It is a grave 
menace to peaceful trade and existence in the hinterland 
of the Republic." 

It is curious to note how the eradication of this Leopard 
sect in one part of Africa has led to its re-establishment 
elsewhere, and how the cult has taken hold of the native 
mind. Judging by the comparatively recent formation of 
such a society in Congoland, one is led to believe there may 
even have been some kind of propaganda at work. 

The tale of the Anioto Leopards of the Aruwimi is enough 
,jto make the blood run cold and keep the imaginative awake 
;at nights, but fortunately the prey of this sect are blacks — 
■principally young and defenceless women and children — not 
whites. When we arrived in the part of the forest — between 
Batama and Bomili — which they frequented, their campaign 
3f revolting murders had reached its height, when no less 

207 



The Eastern Congo 

than one hundred and twenty-eight victims had been kilL 
and eaten by them, and thus terrorising the neighbourhood. 

Eventually things came to such a pass that the authoriti 
at Stanleyville decided to take action and send a punitive 
expedition to try and round up this nest of murderers, 
under the guidance of certain natives who knew their lair, 
and with Monsieur A. Laurent, the resolute Administrateiir 
of Stanleyville as intelligence officer. The expedition was 
quite successful as far as it went, but it failed to stamp out 
this pest — over forty murders having since occurred. 

The expedition consisted of Monsieur Laurent, Lieutenant 
Patfoort, Judge Wauters, a Roman Catholic priest and seventy- 
five native soldiers. The Anioto were located in a trackless 
part of the forest between the Lindi and Aruwimi Rivers, 
and being taken by surprise in the early morning, ten of them 
were captured, some shot and a few escaped. Those that 
were taken prisoners were tried on the spot, and incriminating 
evidence being found against them, they were immediately 
hanged. Amongst the belongings of these horrible people 
were found the instruments of their sect, in several pairs of 
the steel leopard-claw knives* for attaching to their hands 
when on murder bent. Some of these gruesome knives con- 
sisted of four sharpened steel claws for tearing the body, 
whilst others were straight, three-pronged knives for stabbing 
their victim to death. Portions of their ceremonial costume 
which they wear when on their diabolical work were also dis- 
covered. This consists of brown bark cloth stained to the 
semblance of a leopard skin which is worn round the loins 
and over the head in the form of a cowl and pierced with two 

* Illustrations of these steel, clawed knives are given in my book, " George 
Grenfell and the Congo." — H. H. J, 

208 




d, A beautiful Dracrena Tree, used by many Central 
African Tribes to mark the Burial Place of their Chiefs. 



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Our Last " Safari " 

holes to see through. The dress is finished off by a leopard 
tail being fixed to a belt behind. Other things included 
bottle-shaped sticks, with the thick end roughly fashioned 
into the shape of a leopard's pad, with which to give the 
finishing touch to their ghoulish deeds. 

Even if the expedition had not quite the desired result, 
some interesting facts came to light about the Human 
Leopards. For instance it was found out that the novitiate 
of an Anioto consisted in his having to live in the forest 
alone for eight weeks on food he has to kill or find for himself 
as best he can, but firstly, before he can enter on this stage 
of the initiation, it has to be known that he has killed a man 
of his own tribe. Having accomplished these two feats, 
he is tattooed on the chest above the Mambela cicatrisations. 
A notable Anioto ishumu or '' high priest,' ' who was captured 
and hanged, had three such cicatrisations on each side of the 
chest as a mark of his order, and as the identity of these 
Anioto is unknown save by these cicatrices, everyone is on 
the look-out for them when passing natives in the forest. 
Three men have been hanged for being in possession of the 
Anioto knives. 

It may be taken as said that we were glad to leave these 
wild and godless tribesmen behind as we pushed on towards 
Stanleyville. Ever since leaving Irumu the geographical 
features of the country through which we passed had been 
mostly hidden by the impenetrable forest, but three days 
after leaving the poste of Bafwaboli on the Tshopo River, 
the traveller overlooks the steaming lowlands of the central 
Congo basin, and may imagine to himself the vast inland lake 
that once stood there in early Mesozoic days, when the gigan- 
tosaurus and his brethren ruled over its wide expanse, which 

209 P 



The Eastern Congo 



must have been many times greater than even the broad 
Lake Victoria. 

Having descended the last spurs of the forest highlands 
we soon found ourselves approaching Stanleyville along the 
newly made motor road that runs towards them across 
those lowlands, and which it is hoped will one day reach the 
Kilo gold mines. Our arrival at Stanleyville was somewhat 
of an occasion for us two, for we had completed the last lap 
of over two thousand miles ; it was moreover the greatest 
relief to realise that we were to be free henceforth from the 
eternal petty worries of native porters and servants, and that 
instead of having to get ourselves along it was now possible 
to hand over the arduous business to a tireless machine. 
This last lap had tried our endurance to the utmost, 
especially so as the latter end of the trip had been marked 
by violent thunderstorms which occurred daily, making 
the nights terribly oppressive and the paths wet and 
slippery. 

The Stanley Falls which I visited, and which lie close above 
the township of Stanleyville, are not imposing or spectacular 
in any way, although the bar or barrage, reaching right 
across them from bank to bank, is a remarkable structure. 
It has been put together pole by pole in a wonderful way 
by the river fishermen for the purpose of trapping fish. The 
uprights being of considerable size and weight could only 
have been placed in position with the utmost difficulty and 
perseverance ; they seem to be held in position by being jammed 
into " pot-holes '' formed in the solid rock along the lip of 
the fall. As it kept the none-too-well provided town below 
supphed with fresh food, the loss of this fishing industry 
must have been felt by the residents of Stanleyville, for 

210 



Our Last " Safari " 

shortly after we left the whole structure was washed away 
owing to a considerable rise in the river. 

We arrived at Stanleyville three days before the departure 
of the ss. Semois — one of the best boats of the '' Citas '* 
Company — which was to take us down the Congo to Kinshasa. 
She was a most clean and comfortable boat, and thoroughly 
well looked after by her energetic captain, a Norwegian by 
the name of Lindvalle. She was a twin-screw flat-bottomed 
boat and could carry 470 tons of cargo, mostly in her two 
barges which were roped on either side. Her cargo con- 
sisted of rubber, copal, palm kernels, rice and ivory, on this 
' occasion. 

With thirteen other passengers we were soon comfortably 
ensconced aboard and with hoots of farewell were speeding 
our way round the bend below Stanleyville on our way to 
'the sea. 



211 



CHAPTER XIV 

A THOUSAND MILES DOWN THE CONGO 

" Shadow and sunshine, and plateau and plain, 
Vacant horizons and silence supreme. 
Mile upon mile of a heathen domain 
Framing the scribbler's dream." 

" African Authors," Verse 5. By Cullen Gouldsbury. 

THE voyage down the mighty Congo on which we had 
now embarked has so often been described in detail 
by better pens than mine, that no doubt the long- 
suffering reader who has been indulgent enough to follow 
me thus far, would prefer that I give but a passing reference 
to the incidents of the voyage or to the places at which we 
touched en route ; rather would he prefer to gain an insight 
into the economic welfare of so great a territory if he be a 
speculator or financier, or into its social life if he be a mis- 
sionary or student. To the scientists I have little more to 
say, hoping they will have picked out from the foregoing 
narrative what they can find of interest. 

What better place could be found for the purpose men- 
tioned than the clean deck of the ss. Semois, as she bears 
us down on the bosom of this great artery of Africa ? I 
will therefore attempt to place before miy mixed audience 
aforesaid the Belgian Congo as it is to-day. 

The colony progresses rapidly. Even between so short 
a period as the time taken to commence and finish this book, 
events have occurred of far-reaching importance, principal 
among which is the discovery of coal to the south of Bukama 
in the Katanga, which will revolutionise the copper smelting 

212 



Down the Congo 

industry. Secondly may be mentioned the surprising in- 
crease in the output of diamonds by the Belgian-American 
Company, the Forminiere, which is likely to reach 250,000 
carats in 1921, and the number of new " finds " that their 
prospectors have made. / 

But this is not all, for in Monsieur Franck, Belgium 
would seem to have had a Colonial Minister with an imperial 
mind, and, what is quite as necessary, imagination. The 
results of his African tour are already bearing fruit. He 
has in the first place put his finger on the key-note of suc- 
cessful colonial enterprise, viz., rail and river transport. 
His policy includes the immediate construction of another 
line between Matadi and Kinshasa ; reorganisation of the 
upper river steamer service and additional steamers for the 
lower Congo and its tributaries, as well as a large steamer 
for Lake Tanganyika ; and the construction of warehouses 
and facilities for handling cargo where congestion has occurred 
previously — large brick warehouses being now practically 
complete at Stanleyville, Ponthierville, Kabalo and Albert- 
•ville. Lastly comes the important construction scheme of 
the Lower Congo — the Katanga Railway and the joining up 
of Joko Punda (the navigation terminus on the Kasai River) 
with the present rail-head at Bukama. This section is only 
eight hundred kilometres in length, and as construction 
plans are complete the usual hesitation inseparable from 
railway projects should be quickly overcome. The more 
far-reaching, the grander scheme of the Lobito Bay Railway 
has by no means been lost sight of, and the final survey of 
the 650 kilometres from Fungurumi and along the Congo- 
Zambezi divide to the valley of the Upper Kasai has lately 
3een completed by Belgian engineers. 

213 



The Eastern Congo 



The Belgian Colonial Minister has long ago realised the 
value of colonial propaganda ; hence one hears and reads 
vastly more than one used to a few years ago of the progress 
of Congoland, to the benefit of both Belgium, the Belgian 
Congo and African affairs in general. The Congo is losing 
its bad name under this influence and attracting a better 
class to the territory ; even one hears, although with much 
scepticism, of Belgian settlers. I say '' with scepticism " 
as it is not in the nature of Belgians to settle abroad ; few, 
if any, make of their work in their African possession a life 
career. 

In all this. Minister Franck has perhaps some of the 
ablest and wealthiest advisors and coadjutors of the present 
day, in the persons of King Albert and the directors of the 
many concessionnaires and other companies connected with 
the Congo, amongst whom are found such names as Mr. 
Robert Williams, the Right Hon. Earl Grey, Lord Leverhulme, 
the American magnate Mr. Guggenheimer, the brothers 
Jadot and Mr. Robert Goldschmidt, as well as the many 
shrewd members of the Belgian African Club and the Union 
Coloniale Beige. Then again General Malfeyt, General Tom- 
beur. Colonel de Meulemeester and Colonel Moulaert are 
colonial administrators of tried ability. The appointment 
of Monsieur Lippens to be Governor-General of the Congo, 
although unpopular with many colonial-.Belgians (as he has had 
little to do up to now with African affairs) is nevertheless 
likely to prove a suitable one, as colonial administration 
more than any other is inclined to get into a rut and '' new 
blood '' is eminently desirable in a tropical colony. I am 
therefore entirely in agreement with Monsieur Franck's 
lately expressed views to the Press on the appointment. 

214 



Down the Congo 

Although only still half-realising the value of their pos- 
session, the broadening effect of the war has left a profound 
impression on the Belgians, and has had a great deal to do 
with their awakened interest in the Congo. There is now 
unity amongst them, a greater esprit de corps bred in the 
trenches of Flanders and on the steppes of German East 
Africa, that will carry these sturdy, industrious people, with 
the untold riches of the Congo behind them, a very long way 
indeed. They have proved their worth in the late war and 
in the tenacious hold they retained on the Congo from the 
early days — when with a mere handful of white men and 
irregular black troops they broke the Arab power — up to 
now, when they have shown such surprising ability in the 
training of their native soldiers. 

Without going into unnecessary details concerning the 
great industries set afoot in the Congo, its labour and food 
supply, its problems and its perils, let us first pass in review 
the riches that lie garnered twixt the four corners of this 
forest empire, that when properly exploited will draw to 
them the jealous eyes of all Africa. 

The outstanding feature of the Belgian Congo as a colonial 
empire, and one which will contribute to its speedy develop- 
j ment more than any other, is its compactness, '' all its eggs 
are in one basket,'' so to speak — the Congo basin ; and many 
of them can be reached and (to carry on the metaphor) hatched 
out, through its network of waterways. True, the Kilo 
\ goldfields and the Congo copper belt are on the edge of the 
I basin, but they are both rich enough to attract to themselves 
\ their own transport systems without outside help. Starting 
\ therefore from the south we find mountains of copper being 
blasted away and smelted with the most up-to-date machinery 

215 



The Eastern Congo 

it is possible to devise, and a new concentrating plant about 
to come into operation, upon which, with railway accessories 
and mine development, the Union Miniere has lately spent 
£3,000,000. Then in the same concession to the north and 
north-west we find tin, gold, cobalt, uranium, platinum, and 
now coal, which together with the copper are set in a well- 
wooded, well-watered, well-populated, upland country suitable 
for agriculture (and on the plateaux suitable for stock raising) 
and supplied by the Katanga Railway. Still farther to the 
north again, but off the Katanga highlands and near the 
junction of the Luvua with the Lualaba River, there is the 
rich Geomtne tin mine with an ever increasing production, 
which will presently reach an output of 1,000 tons of cassi- 
terite annually. Then taking a turn to the east outside 
the Congo basin, we find in the newly-acquired kingdom of 
Ruanda, one of the richest cattle countries in Africa, which 
has lately attracted the attention of both the Liebig Meat 
Extract Company and the Kemmerich Meat Company. After 
that we pass on north through a wonderful ivory-producing 
country to the rich gold district of the north-east, where the 
Kilo, Moto and Senguli Mines are on the eve of increased 
production with modern machinery. Leaving these mines 
and travelUng west through the largest forest in Africa 
we pass across the north central Congo basin where at first 
we find, besides more ivory, vast stores of rubber being ex- 
ploited, a large production of good-quality rice ; and then, 
farther on still, we arrive at the centre of the immense palm- 
oil industry of the Societe Anonyme des Huileries du Congo 
with Lord Leverhulme in command, which has expended a 
similar vast sum to the Union Miniere for accessories and 
development, and which owns a fleet of five large steamers 

216 






Down the Congo 



on the Congo River. Again passing from the north central 
Congo back to its south centre, and after touching the copal- 
digging industry,* we reach the Kasai diamond fields and still 
another rubber-producing area. The Societe Internationale 
Forestiere et Miniere du Congo or the Formiere Company work 
the Kasai diamond area and now employ over one hundred 
and forty whites and more than eleven thousand natives. 
Again we find at Mayumbe, plantations of cocoa which in 
1920 produced a million kilos of this commodity, and also 
in the Kasai and Lomami districts the agents of a new firm, 
styling itself the Com/)a^^u'^ Cotonniere Congolaise, are at work 
on cotton planting and the fostering of the industry amongst 
the natives : two ginning mills are in course of construction 
and a supply of hand gins are being placed at various centres. 
As a summary of the foregoing I give the export statistics 
of the Belgian Congo for the years 1914 and 1920 in the order 
of their value. 



Product. 

Copper . . 
Palm Nuts 
Palm Oil 
Rubber . . 
Gold 
Ivory 

•Copal, which is used 
natives for glazing pottery 
tree, the Copaifera demeusei 



Weight in kilos, 
1914- 

10,343436 

8,052,176 

2,498,386 

2,248,839 

930 

295496 



Weight in kilos. 
1920. 

30,000,000 

50,000,000 

20,000,000 

2,500,000 

3,800 

400,000 



in Europe for making varnish and by the Congo 
is a resinous gum obtained from a species of swamp 
It is obtained from the living plant, but the best 
quality is recovered from dead trees deep down in the marshes, where it is located 
by means of long sticks. Similar resinous gums are used by the natives of 
the eastern Congo for the making of torch-candles : the gum is smeared in 
between small bundles of dry rushes and burns smokily with an aromatic smell. 
I have never seen any other kind of indigenous illuminant used by natives in 
the Congo. 

217 



The Eastern Congo 





Weight in kilos. 


Weight in kilos. 


Product. 


1914. 


1920. 


Copal 


. . 6,993,063 


9,000,000 


Diamonds 


24,000 carats 


250,000 carats 


Rice 


422,237 


10,000,000 


Tin 


30,947 


500,000 


Cocoa 


482,360 


1,000,000 


Skins 


81,850 


400,000 



The total value of the exportations from the Belgiai 
Congo for 1920 reached the respectable figure of close 01 
200,000,000 francs (two hundred million francs). 

The three important centres of the copper, gold an( 
diamond mining industries are fortunately very favourabh 
placed for native labour, for the Katanga, Kilo and Kasj 
districts are all well populated and should, if the laboui 
supply be well organised, meet the majority of the laboui 
demands. The latter conditions are to be found in th( 
Kasai and Kilo, but in spite of the good treatment and liben 
pay offered to native labour on and around the Katangj 
mines, sufficient local labour is not forthcoming in this districi 
and so natives have to be recruited outside it. The popular 
tion of the Katanga highlands is put down at two millions] 
and as only sixty thousand natives are required to meet al 
demands, it should be possible to find this number locally] 
Truth to tell, work on the Katanga copper mines has beei 
made unpopular with natives, not by reason of their treatmeni 
by the recruiting bureaux or agents of the Union Minien 
(for this leaves nothing to be desired), but by reason of theii 
maltreatment at the hands of unscrupulous contractors, 
mostly Greeks. Doubtless a more suitable adjustment of 
labour and the settlement of other questions in the Katanga 

218 



Down the Congo 

could be better brought about by a more vigorous admini- 
stration under a Governor with a freer hand and acting 
independently of Boma. 

In comparison with English standards, labour in the Congo 
is cheap. Ordinary local labour for portage or plantation 
work costs about thirty-five to forty centimes a day anywhere 
in the Congo, with the exception of the Katanga. Here, 
however, the pay of natives has advanced out of all pro- 
portion owing to the inducements offered by the contractors, 
and a good native now asks from two to three francs a day 
inclusive of food. The Belgians keep prices down, the 
foreigners put them up. 

Task work is the order of the day in the Katanga and on 
the mines, but is not generally adopted throughout the Congo. 
Giving a set task to a native and paying him for any work 
done over and above the stipulated amount, I believe to be 
the only way to work natives successfully. The native 
population of the Congo is now put at ten millions, 
but epidemic diseases being kept in check, it is increasing 
considerably, which increase should be enough for all ordinary 
requirements when properly organised. 

It will be seen throughout these notes that the conditions 
existing in the rich province of the Katanga are continually 
cropping up as differing from those at work in the rest of 
the colony, which may be taken as an advocacy for its admini- 
strative independence. Again in the matter of food for native 
1 1 labour, the Katanga does not supply enough for its needs, 
' having to buy in South Africa, and thus presenting a defect 
in its agricultural policy or a want of organisation in the supply 
of food from other districts. Whereas the food supply is 
more than sufficient, in fact there is a large surplus — for the 

219 



The Eastern Congo 

remaining portion of the great Dominion, the Katanga district 
stands out alone as unable to meet its wants in this respect. 

Lastly we come to the perils — the White Man's Burden — 
the price of Empire which Belgium, having once put her 
foot on African soil, will one day have to pay ; for the 
Ethiopian question looms darkly across the horizon, by no 
means of immediate urgency but nevertheless of imperative 
importance, as evinced by a report that reaches me as I write 
of a local native rising in the Lulonga country, headed by a 
disbanded soldier. The fact that these insurgents are en- 
trenching themselves may be taken as a sign of the times. 

What if the White Man's Burden, heavier day by day, 

Should swell like a leaden millstone, draining his strength away ? 

" Nay, they are only children ! " — that is the parrot-cry. 

Aye I but there have been children whose brains were fashioned awry ! 

Still are the coils about them, and the cobweb bonds of Fate, 
But thunder follows the silence — and issues may lie in wait ; 
Issues undreamt and buried down in the deeps of Time, 
Issues no man may measure in careless strings of rhyme. 

The oft-heard cry in the Belgian Congo, ** not in our time," 
no longer holds good, since the war has speeded the pace 
of progress. Issues may lie in wait, for it is not generally 
realised that the natives of the Congo basin form a homo- 
geneous whole, speaking nearly-allied Bantu tongues, and 
all using the Kingwana (Swahili) lingua franca, undivided 
by creed or caste and possessing a high order of intelligence 
only equalled by the Arab himself. 

We have our native problem in South Africa and for many 
reasons which need not be given here the issue is scarcely 
in doubt, but it is mere child's play to the proposition that 
Belgium has to solve in her trained active and time-expired 
native police and soldiers, who form the dangerous factor 

220 



Down the Congo 

in the social life of the Congo. It must be remembered 
that after his seven years' training the native soldier is at 
liberty to leave the service and many of them do so, with 
the result that as time goes on fresh recruits are trained, 
replacing those disbanded, with the result that every village 
in the Congo contains one or more such men. Being idle and 
having had just that touch of authority thrust into their 
hands sufficient to make them restless, they constitute the 
menace to which I refer. There can be no " colour bar " 
in the Congo and safety lies only in the co-operation of the 
more intelligent and enlightened heads of the people, in 
developing the resources of the country along lines that will 
give them a share in its prosperity. 

The ray of light (as it seems to me) that will enter to 
dispel the gloom of menace is education, not religious psalm- 
singing instruction, but an industrial education containing 
the elements of religious training that would fit the intelligent 
native for industrial and business life, and induce him to 
support a stable government. Such a teaching is required 
as that given below, which was so finely formulated by the 
American — General Armstrong — as long ago as 1870, when 
speaking on the education of the American negro, and which 
has been taken for the guiding principle of the African 
Educational Commission and the Trustees of the Phelps- 
Stokes Fund when they designed plans to meet the educational 
needs of the native races and the present and prospective 
demands of West African Colonies. 

'* The education needed is one that touches upon the whole 
range of life, that aims at the formation of good habits and 
sound principles, that considers the details of each day, that 
enjoins, in respect of diet, regularity, proper selection and 

221 



The Eastern Congo 

good cooking ; in respect of habits, suitable clothing, exercise, 
cleanliness of persons, quarters and ventilation, also industry 
and thrift ; and in respect of all things, intelligent practice 
and self-restraint. 

" In all men, education is conditional not alone on an 
enlightened head and a changed heart but very largely on a 
routine of industrious habits, which is to character what the 
foundation is to the pyramids. The summit should glow 
with a divine light, interfusing and qualifying the whole mass, 
but it should never be forgotten that it is only upon a founda- 
tion of regular, daily activities that there can be any fine and 
permanent upbuilding. Morality and industry generally go 
together.'' 

If this chapter should chance to be read by those in 
authority at the Belgian Colonial Ministry, let me recommend 
the work of the African Educational Commission, as a basis 
for a successful native policy in the Belgian Congo. 

With this chapter and this book, having faintly conjured 
up the Congo Wonderland as I see it, a few more lines are 
necessary to fill in the picture as the ss. Scmois completes her 
ten days' trip from Stanleyville to Kinshasa. 

We are by now well on our way to Stanleypool and as I 
write we are in the neighbourhood of Lake Leopold II. Some 
of us are considering the possibility of the existence of a 
subterranean lake in Central Africa to which Lake Leopold 
may be an entrance, and in which the last gigantosaurus may 
have died ! We have experienced several tornadoes ; we 
have passed George Grenfell's grave at Basoko and many 
another too ; the many model '* factories " of Messrs. Lever 
Bros, have gone by and we have seen the Belgian seaplanes, 

222 



Down the Congo 

and the new hangars, and the hundred-and-one varied scenes 
of native Hfe. All have flitted by between the islands and 
round the bends of the far reaching Congo. Presently we 
find ourselves opposite the landing stage at Kinshasa and 
about to begin the hunt for sleeping accommodation (which 
is one of the crying wants of the town, for the only good 
hotel is always overflowing), but not finding it we have to 
sleep aboard the Semois. 

In three days' time we are ratthng our way to Matadi 
Port and being shaken to bits in the antediluvian railway 
carriages of this line. So bad are they that all the women 
passengers were sick and the rest of us were tired out with 
such an ordeal. 

The ss. Anversville lay waiting for us by the wharf at 
Matadi and so we came to the western sea. Having entered 
Africa on the east by the Zambezi delta we left it, after ten 
years, by the Congo estuary. 



22^ 



CHAPTER XV 

ON ELEPHANTS ; ALSO AN ADVENTURE WITH A CROCODILE 

** At first — in other worlds, it seemed — the wilderness was free, 
A man m'ght go where'er he dreamed, nor pause to pay the fee. 
Out of the Herd might take his toll earned at the risk of death, 
Wander afar beyond control, caressed by Nature's breath — 
The world was wide — the Herds were strong, and killing was no sin. 
No Law but sportsmanship he knew — no Ring Fence heymned him in." 

The Ring Fence. Verse I. 

AS I look back upon the ups and downs of my life in 
Africa, which began twenty-three years ago, that part 
of it spent in hunting elephants for a living stands 
out more vividly than any other. The open-air life, the ever- 
changing scene amidst the game-haunted solitudes, appealed 
irresistibly to a, perhaps, too romantic temperament, and so 
has stamped itself indelibly on my memory. 

My hunting trips in search of good ivory and rare animals 
often took me to all kinds of out of the way places, bringing 
many adventures, and after many years, an intimate acquaint- 
ance with elephant folk about which I am now to write. These 
expeditions have taken me into British and Portuguese Nyasa- 
land, Portuguese Zambezia, late German East Africa (Tangan- 
yika territory), Northern Rhodesia and the Congo forests. 

In my experience, as a hunting ground for elephants, 
there is no region in Africa to-day to compare with the Ituri 
forest, and the long-grass country to the south and north- 
east of it. I believe the record tusks are yet to be obtained 
in its vast and untrodden depths, a sufficient incentive indeed 
for any big game hunter as the record now stands at 226^ 
pounds for a single tusk. 

224 










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mu 







Elephants 

Hunting in the thick forest is of course difficult and 
angerous work, but with ordinary precautions, steady nerves 
•nd a heavy rifle, not more so than elsewhere. As heat and 
lirst are scarcely to be reckoned with in the shade of the 
orest, and there being always the possibility of bagging 
are animals such as the okapi and the bongo, the district 
as much to recommend it. Then again the northern 
xtension of the forest is the haunt of a race of pigmy 
lephants of possibly greater interest than those to be found 
ear Lake Leopold II or in the swamps of the French 
ongo. 

Referring to these dwarf elephants, puts me in mind of 
16 so-called " bamboo " elephants to be found in the forests 
f the Kivu volcanic region farther to the south. They would 
ppear to be an intermediate race between the large East 
irican species and the pigmy one. From one specimen that 
saw in the Bugoie Forest, although comparatively small 
)r what was, without doubt, an adult male, there was little 
) distinguish it otherwise from an undergrown ordinary 
ephant excepting its tusks. These were remarkable, in 
lat they were thin and finely pointed like those of a 
jmale and of a perceptibly pinky-red colour. This ob- 
xrvation proved to be correct, for later on when visiting 
isenji Monsieur Verhulst showed me a pair of tusks 
'om the same forest, coloured in this fashion, and of 
same thin, straight shape. Their bright colouring is 
: once discernible by the most casual observer. These 
jain, I was assured, were those of a fully grown 
:,Lale. Their weight was, if I remember rightly, about 

Kfteen pounds. 

f{! Mention has been made in a previous chapter of the very 

225 Q 



The Eastern Congo 



dark brown ivory frequently seen in and about the Itur 
Forest. The tusks in question are so dark,* in fact, thai 
they may best be described as looking as if they had beer 
heavily smoked, and are in such striking contrast to the wel 
known ivory colour that one is at a loss to account for it 
As the elephants to be found in the grass country bordering 
on the forest have the usual white tusks and as food in al 
animals affects to a large extent the growth of their teeth 
tusks and horns, it is most probably occasioned by the typi 
of food that the forest elephants prefer. 

Whether the staining process occurs externally around th^ 
lip of the animal or within the tusk itself, I would not lik 
to say. The fact that the part of the tusk imbedded in th 
head is not blackened proves nothing, as the '* bark '' of th 
ivory may become dark on exposure to the atmosphere a 
the teeth grow downwards. Although the Congo fores 
ivory does not fetch such good prices as the white quality, i 
is nevertheless much sought after as the " bark " of th 
tusk only is coloured, and not the solid ivory itself. 

It is a noticeable fact and one which may have a bearin 
on the subject, that the droppings of all the forest elephani 
are affected to such an extent by the chemicals contained i 
the class of food they eat, that they are, as a rule, blac 
instead of the usual brown colour. 

The Pigmies, who are located all through the central an 
eastern portion of the Ituri Forest, are in a way indispei 
sable to the hunter, but too much reliance must not I 
placed on them. They all have '' their axe to grind,'' ar 
in their cunning way will try and make the hunt 

* Similarly dark-tinted ivory is found in the dense forests of Liberia. 
H. H. J. 

226 



Elephants 

j believe that an elephant he has badly wounded and which 
may perhaps be lying dead half a mile away, has only been 
I slightly wounded or even not at all, afterwards either 
! stealing the tusks or following up the wounded elephant and 
; killing it for themselves. Personally and contrary to the 
j ideas of other sportsmen, I have no time for the Pigmy as a 
1 tracker or guide, much preferring the half-breed Swahili 
hunters born in the forest, who besides being intelligent, will, 
I for hard cash sell you any secret, and take a man to the forest 
f fastnesses where the big bulls are to be found. 
I These half-breeds are, of course, adepts at all kinds of 

I roguery and live on the proceeds obtained from illicit ivory 
\ hunting and trading. When out of powder for their old 
i muzzle-loaders, they organise the Pigmies in the setting of 
!i cunning elephant traps, with which the forest abounds. 
j These usually take the form of heavy iron harpoons embedded 
j in a section of ten-inch timber, which formidable and dangerous 
\ weapon is slung high up over an elephant track between two 

trees, in such a way that the animal passing beneath sets 
j off the trap himself, receiving the weighted spear in the 
j centre of its shoulders. With another method, that of large 
j pit-falls, the natives are not very successful ; the elephant 
j in many cases is intelligent enough to heave himself out, 
'' at other times being helped out by the trunks of his comrades. 
Before passing on to describe a few out of the many 
j hundreds of experiences with elephants that have fallen to 

II my lot, and for the benefit of the big-game hunter who would 
i prefer a more accessible and less dangerous hunting ground 
' in the Congo, let me recommend him to try either the lower 

Luvua River that flows out of the north end of Lake Mweru, 
hich place is easily accessible by the Cape to Congo Railway, 

227 



The Eastern Congo 

or the Kwengo River, an affluent of the Kasai, which is easy 
of approach in these days, up the mouth of the Congo River 
to Kinshasa. Anyone who visits either of the places named 
will not be disappointed in regard to the trophies they obtain, 
July being the best month to select for the trip. 

Most people who have visited the South Kensington 
Museum of Natural History are acquainted with, and have 
stood and admired as I have done, the fine stuffed specimen 
of the African elephant standing in the central hall of the 
building. As this is one of my earliest endeavours in field- 
naturalist's work, and moreover has a certain national im- 
portance as being the largest stuffed mammal in the English 
museums, I will begin my elephant hunting adventures with 
the first published account of how I obtained it, and the diffi- 
culties I had in getting the skin to England in one piece. 

Early in the year 1905, through the auspices of Sir E. Ray 
Lankester, at that time director of the Natural History 
Museum, it was decided to add to the mammalian collection 
there an entire specimen of a male African elephant. Messrs. 
Rowland Ward and Co., of Piccadilly, the well-known taxi- 
dermists, were approached on the subject, and undertook 
to obtain one up to the required height of eleven feet. As 
the skin, fit to stuff, was required to be delivered in London 
in one piece, more than one African hunter refused such an 
arduous undertaking. Eventually, however, I, with many 
misgivings, accepted the contract and set about the pre- 
parations necessary for a prolonged expedition in search 
of the father-of-all-the-elephants. 

Before I set out, I was well aware that the task of finding 
an elephant reaching to eleven feet at the shoulder was no 
easy one. For, in spite of the fact that on the border between 

228 




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d, A fine old bull Elephant, with massive head, shot 
in Northern Rhodesia, the entire skin of 
which the Author sent to England in one piece. 



Elephants 

Nyasaland and Northern Rhodesia, where I was then, these 
animals reach an astonishing size compared to other parts 
of Africa, the usual height of old bulls is from ten feet four 
inches to ten feet nine inches. Elephants taping above 
the latter figure are exceedingly rare, and I may add, there- 
fore, making it very difficult for me to believe the report 
of a twelve- foot elephant. 

However, having undertaken the task, I set out from 
Fort Jameson in North-eastern Rhodesia with the usual 
followers, taking with me, besides my usual camp equipment, 
a quantity of butcher knives and emery stones to sharpen 
them, with four loads of salt, saltpetre and alum. 

In the course of the first two months I had shot several 
large elephants both in Portuguese and Rhodesian territory, 
none of which, however, came up to the required standard. 
In consequence I began to feel a little disappointed, and 
decided to shift camp into the Bua Valley of western Nyasa- 
land. 

This I accordingly did and presently found myself encamped 
at a small village situated on the edge of one of those sloping 
flower-strewn meadows (or damho in the native tongue) for 
which the district is remarkable, bordering a western tributary 
of the Bua River. It being August, the nights and mornings 
were extremely cold and, by the edge of the stream, where 
the elephants came to drink, positively freezing ! 

I was in the habit each morning of following down this 
stream in the hope of picking up over-night spoor and very 
early one morning was thus engaged, accompanied by a native 
tracker called Kamwendo. Now, this man had proved his 
worth on many previous occasions but had a failing, like 
so many good men, that he frequently became " bottled " 

229 



The Eastern Congo 

(or rather '' jugged '' — for he drank it by the jug-full) on 
native beer, and when in this state he was quite useless 
but polite — not quite accountable for his actions as you 
shall hear. 

The sun was just tipping the horizon as we made our way 
along the open but misty dambo on this morning, examining 
as we went the different spoors leading to the valley bottom. 
Kamwendo, I noticed, had had a *' thick " night, but his 
conscience pricking him, I suppose, was frightfully willing 
to do his best and therefore was some distance ahead looking 
for fresh indications of the quarry we sought. The mist was 
thick at the time but he was just discernible, when suddenly, 
down he went on hands and knees, and started to crawl away 
from me, looking intently meanwhile at something beyond 
him which, owing to the fog, was lost to my view. Kamwendo, 
of course, knew I was looking for an extra big elephant, but 
I was quite at a loss to know why he was down on all fours, 
in an open treeless dambo that would hardly hide a rabbit. 
I watched him for some seconds as he crawled on into the mist 
and guessing that anyhow something was up, I ran lightly 
to join him. Upon reaching the spot, the object he was 
stalking with such supreme care was at once apparent, for 
looming out of the mist, close ahead of us, was the form of 
a big tusker, spouting, as it seemed, a cloud of white smoke 
from his trunk and mouth, as he moved slowly along. This 
weird appearance was easily accounted for by the elephant's 
condensing breath on the chilly atmosphere. The sight, 
however, was one too much for poor Kamwendo. His fuddled 
brain, full of my instructions that he was to make sure before 
starting that any elephant we proposed to follow was a big 
one, combined with the effect of the aforementioned dragon- 

230 



Elephants 

like apparition, produced the result stated. His idea of 
walking on all fours towards an elephant, standing broadside 
in the open thirty or forty yards away, to have a look at 
his tusks, was a joke that fairly tickled me for many a day. 

At the time, however, I was testing the wind, with all 
eyes on the elephant, who having previously taken his fill 
at the stream was by now engaged in pulling up with his 
trunk big wisps of grass on the edge of the dambo, and con- 
veying them to his mouth after giving them a good banging 
against his forehead to shake off dirt from the roots. 

I watched him for some seconds and although his tusks 
were not noticeably big he seemed to be a giant in size, so 
approaching with my double 8-bore to within twenty-five 
paces, I let fly at his left shoulder, first one barrel then the 
other. Recovering himself, however, with astonishing rapidity 
from such an onslaught, the elephant had soon reached the 
neighbouring forest and before I could fire a third shot was 
lost in the fog that still hung around us. 

Kamwendo (who was now sobering up in the keen morning 
air) and I lost little time in getting after our quarry, and as 
the grass-fires had burnt the bush in patches, spooring was 
fairly easy, although at times, owing to cross-spoors and 
the dry state of the vegetation, my tracker was at fault, 
necessitating circling round to pick up the spoor again. We 
also found that in spite of the bad wounds he must have 
received, there was little blood on the trail after the first 
few miles. 

Having been going since sunrise, the early part of the 
afternoon found us entering a thick patch of forest, whose 
cool shade after the baking heat without, invited a rest. 
Throwing myself down and having had a snack of food, I 

231 



The Eastern Congo 

was soon enjoying a comfortable siesta on Mother Earth. 
However, a long rest was not to be mine that day, for, during 
my " forty winks," Kamwendo aroused me with the thrilling 
words : " Njovo ! Bwana I " (Elephant ! master !) 

To the ivory-hunter who has gotten, for better or worse, 
the fever of the chase, the word Njovo or Tembo uttered in 
the incisive accents of your black fellow-sportsman (for he 
is a sportsman, when all is said and done), is like the crack 
of a whip to a horse and is calculated to wake a man up every 
time. I was, therefore, up on the instant and listening for] 
the breaking of branches that Kamwendo had heard. 

Sure enough, coming nearer and nearer in our direction 
could be heard the swish of grass and leaves, that denotes; 
the approach of elephants in the bush. The wind blowing 
steadily, on this occasion, in our direction, it was unnecessary 
to move from where we were ; we therefore stood silently 
expectant, as the animals came on. Presently we made them 
out through the screen of bushes. First an enormous elephant 
which I at once recognised as our friend of the morning, and 
who had evidently turned on his tracks after joining up with 
the small elephant that now followed in his rear. 

The big fellow was moving slowly, and as he stopped 
under a big tree not twenty paces from me I distinctly made 
out the two dark streaks of dried blood, where my bullets 
had entered his left shoulder. As the elephant was now 
standing diagonally facing me there was no time to waste, 
so resting my small 8-mm. Mauser on a convenient tree, I 
took steady aim at his eye and fired. He dropped as if pole- 
axed and lay kicking on the ground, shot through the brain. 
On going forward to examine the great beast I knew, without 
the aid of a tape, that I had at last bagged the father-of-all- 

232 



Elephants 

the-elephants, for which I was searching. His tusks, although 
thick and cobby, were disappointing, being worn down to a 
weight of a httle over forty pounds apiece. 

Counting myself extremely lucky under the circumstances, 
I now made my way back to camp and pondering over the 
matter as I walked, it was borne in on me that the job of 
removing the hide of the dead elephant in one piece was going 
to tax the powers of my porters and myself to the utmost. 

I reached camp towards sundown but it was not until the 
following morning that I again reached the carcass, accom- 
panied by half the population of the countryside, whom I had 
engaged, on a promise of much meat, for the work in hand. 

After pitching camp I made the discovery that the nearest 
water was some miles away, so I arranged with the local 
chief that every day, twenty-five women, each with a large 
earthenware pot, should keep the camp supplied with the 
vital fluid. Having arranged this I got some of my men to 
work on the skinning operations, whilst others were put 
to the task of clearing a space free from shade in which to 
erect a low drying frame for the hide, when the time came 
to spread it out to dry. 

[I give here the note of the dimensions made from the 
' skin at the British Museum : — 

Height, II feet 4 inches. 

Girth, 17 feet 4J inches. 

Overall length (taken from tip of trunk, along curve of 
jjback, to tip of tail), 30 feet. 

Length from posterior alveolar border of tusk, along body 
to back of root of tail, 15 feet 10 inches. 

Length of trunk, 8 feet. 

Length of tail (to tips of hairs), 5 feet 6 inches. 

233 



The Eastern Congo 



Length of tail (without hairs), 4 feet 7I inches. 

Diameter of ear, 4 feet 8 inches. 

Circumference of fore-foot, 4 feet 5 inches. 

Diameter of hind-foot, i foot 8 inches.] 

After this, the first incisions in the skin were commenced. 
Starting from below the tip of the trunk a cut was first carried 
through the centre of the lip, along the medial line of the 
belly to the end of the tail. Then, others at the back of each 
leg, joining up with it in the same way as any other animal 
is skinned. The flaps of skin beneath each leg and around 
the chest were then negotiated, leaving the muscles exposed, 
which in the case of the two uppermost legs, were removed, 
leaving the bones clear and ready to be severed at the joints. 
After the axe had done its work, I now had the two leg skins 
with feet attached thrown over the animal's back, and the 
remainder of the entire skin off one side soon followed. We 
were " hung up " a long time upon the skinning of the head 
which proved a very difficult task, the parts round the jaw 
and face proving the worst.* 

By now, we were well on into the second day of our task 
with what appeared to be a sickly white monster lying before 
us, the stomach extended to a huge size with the ferment 
within. The exposed stomach, meat, leg bones and ribs had 
now to be removed, to enable the carcass (which weighed 

* As most observant elephant-hunters know, the elephant has a gland 
on each temple which exudes a fatty oil through a small aperture in the skin. 
It is, however, not generally known that almost always, without exception, thin 
pieces of stick about one inch long are to be found embedded in these openings. 
How to account for the invariable presence of these pieces of stick in both glands 
remains a mystery, yet to be solved ; it is hard to believe that they come there 
by accident when the animal pushes through the branches of trees for instance. 
The natives will tell you that the elephant puts them there himself : perhaps they 
are right ! I have always found the pieces of stick to be of nearly equal length 
and size and never more than i^ inches long. 

234 



Elephants 

some six tons and was impossible to move as it then lay) 
to be turned over. Into this job were put " all hands and the 
cook/* and as, by then, I had a following of several hundred 
niggers all crying out for meat, there was such a scramble 
for the job that in less time than it takes to tell the carcass of 
the dead pachyderm was entirely blotted out from view behind 
a screen of wildly excited natives, brandishing dangerous- 
looking knives and axes in their endeavours to find a place to 
I cut at. In the middle of this indescribable confusion there 
t was an explosion resembling a big locomotive letting off 
steam, as the pent-up stomach gases escaped under the 
I onslaught of spears and knives, sending a shower of the 
I' contents of the stomach mixed with blood over the perspiring 
humanity around. By sundown, with the assistance of 
ill " the crowd " I had the remainder of the carcass turned over 
and ready for the skinning of the other flank. 

This proved to be fairly easy, so on the day following 
I had the satisfaction of seeing the complete skin being 
|i hauled and lifted on to the drying platform and work begun 
on the feet that still retained their flesh and bone, on the 
head that required attention, and on the curing process that 
consisted in rubbing in a mixture of three parts of salt, salt- 
petre and alum. 

Under the hot sun the drying process went on apace, and 
in a week's time the skin had shrunk to half its size and was 
ready to be folded into a more or less rectangular package, 
ready for the cross-country journey to Fort Jameson and 
for which, in places, I had to form a special road. Forty 
of my best Angoni and Achewa carriers, in two relays, were 
detailed for this work. When it reached the township, the 
skin being dry enough for transport to the coast, I first took 

235 



The Eastern Congo 

the precaution to paint it with six gallons of crude castor 
oil to ward off the attacks of ** beetle *' and then sewed it 
up in its final covering. 

This was by no means the last of it, however, for by this 
time the size and weight of skin had been exaggerated by 
the natives beyond all conception, with the result that the 
one transport company in the little centre of Fort Jameson, 
known as the African Lakes Corporation, refused to accept 
it for transportation, after offering it to several gangs of 
porters and after it had been adjudged by the authorities 
as too heavy for porterage. For some considerable time it 
lay in the roadway, near the township, a " white elephant " 
if ever there was one and a menace to traffic, until, through 
the assistance of my friend C, a man for whom the Achewa 
would do more than most, it eventually took its way to Tete 
on the Zambezi, a distance of 220 miles, in charge of a good 
headman and forty porters, accompanied by an extra gang 
of men who went in advance with axes to chop down the bush. 
For several weeks after this both C. and myself went in fear 
and trembling lest the headman should turn up with the news 
that the carriers had bolted. It safely reached the river, 
however, and after a time was shipped on a barge and so 
found its way to England, via Chinde on the east coast. 

This is not quite all, for to get the mounted specimen 
through the portals of the South Kensington Museum 
necessitated an alteration in their structure. I can, there- 
fore, well believe that my friend Mr. J. B. Burlace, the 
managing director for Messrs. Rowland Ward, Ltd., was as 
pleased to see the last of it as I was. 

Knowing the difficulties before me, it stands to my credit 
that a year afterwards I took on another contract and landed 

236 







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Elephants 

a similar specimen in London in good condition, the tusks of 
this elephant being much weightier than the first. Curiously 
enough the stomach of this animal contained several handfuls 
of large water-worn pebbles, some of them over one and a 
half inches in diameter and weighing together several pounds. 
As water was scarce in the district, it is to be presumed they 
were taken up in the beast's trunk in its endeavour to get a 
decent drink from some partially dried up water-hole. 

To relate yet another adventure : there is in the Luangwa 
valley, known to sleeping-sickness doctors, journalists and 
others as the " Death Valley of Africa " by reason of the 
virulent type of sleeping-sickness carried by the Glossina 
morsitans or common tsetse fly, a narrow but deep, unnamed 
stream that some years ago nearly proved my grave, and all 
but sent me across that other dark water from which there is 
no return, and over which poor Lewis, the friend and com- 
panion then with me, had he but known it, was soon to pass. 

In those days, with one drawback and another, we Northern 
Rhodesian elephant-hunting farmers were often hard put to 
it to make both ends meet, and in the intervals of losing our 
cattle with " fly '' and our cotton crops with '' boll-worm," 
indulged in the kingly sport of elephant hunting to replenish 
the famished exchequer : to the death be it said of some of 
us (although this fact was never taken into consideration 
by the British South African Company) from sleeping-sickness 
and others from the prod of an elephant's tusk. I am quite 
ready to admit we were a considerable source of annoyance 
to the administration, as we did not alw^ays come by our 
ivory lawfully (on both sides of the border) ; but at the same 
time some of us '' paid the price " which went to even things up. 

On the occasion of which I write, three of us, Lewis, 

237 



The Eastern Congo 

Gways and I, all pretty hard-up at the time, had joined 
forces for an ivory-hunting expedition to the Luangwa River, 
which drains a deep and narrow valley between the western 
Nyasa highlands on the one hand and the Tanganyika 
plateau and Muchinga escarpment on the other. From the 
commencement the trip was unsuccessful and Gways having 
lost himself for three whole days in the bush, becoming dis- 
gruntled in consequence, decided to go off on his own, leaving 
Lewis and myself together. Having previously bagged one 
or two small elephants, we presently found ourselves in a 
village on the banks of the river, and the gardens here were 
reported to us as having been destroyed by elephants. This 
we found to be true, so much so in fact that the natives were 
threatened by starvation in consequence. 

The proverb, " it's an ill wind that blows nobody good," 
might well be applied here, for we were overjoyed at the 
prospect of getting on to some good bulls ; the morning 
therefore after our arrival found us taking opposite directions 
to pick up overnight spoor. Soon after leaving camp I came on 
fresh elephant tracks which I followed, and coming up with 
the animals quickly, wounded two bulls out of the troop of 
five. After emptying my magazine I raced after them, 
reloading as I went but to little purpose, as I arrived at the 
bank of the Luangwa River, which was then in flood, just 
in time to catch glimpses of the herd as it headed through 
the thick foliage on the opposite bank. 

Where I now stood the Luangwa was quite one hundred 
yards broad besides being deep, with a swift current and 
impassable save with a canoe. There remained nothing for 
it but to send one of the men back to the village to bring 
round a dug-out, and to remain where I was with what 

238 



Elephants 

patience I could muster. Half an hour having gone by in 
this way, my friend Lewis turned up, and explained that, 
as he had returned to camp early and met my boy, who told 
him what had happened, he had followed me up, after ordering 
the canoe round. Soon after, the craft arrived, and we put 
across the river. 

On reaching the far side, we discovered that the recent 
floods from the Muchinga mountains had inundated the 
Mopani* flats on this side of the valley, and the country as 
far as the eye could reach was ankle deep in water. This fact, 
together with the wounds two of the elephants had received, 
no doubt accounted for our reaching the troop soon after we 
left the river bank. We came up to them standing huddled 
together. The biggest, carrying a magnificent pair of tusks, 
being broadside on to us, at once received several bullets in 
the shoulder from both Lewis and myself, and then placing 
several other shots into the fast-retreating animals we tore 
after them through the water, the state of our waterlogged 
boots, however, soon bringing us to a standstill. 

Taking a rest to talk over the situation, we decided that 
Lewis should return to the village, bring our camp-gear across 
the river, and that he should pitch the tents at the spot where 
we sat. I was to follow up the big bull, which, judging by 
its spoor had now left its companions, and evidently badly 
wounded, had gone off on its own. 

* Mopani. The native name given to a handsome tree of erect growth, 
resembHng the maiden-hair tree, with shiny leaves of a like shape to the fern 
of that name. This hard-wood tree is only found at low elevations and will 
only grow on waterlogged clay flats, where few other plants can survive the alter- 
nating baking by the sun and flooding by the rains. The seed exudes a resinous 
gum, smelling strongly of turpentine. The crushed leaves when steeped in 
boiling water form a reliable remedy for dysentery. The wood is white-ant 
proof. 

239 



The Eastern Congo 



So we parted, Lewis to recross the Luangwa River, I, 
with a rifle as my only companion, to spoor up the big tusker 
and see what had become of him. 

The succession of miniature water-filled pits that marked 
my quarry's progress across the veldt were easy enough to 
follow and presently led me to a dark and muddy backwater, 
overhung with foliage, which being not more than fifteen 
yards wide the big bull had taken in his stride, so to speak. 

To mere man, however, this deep waterway was an 
obstacle not so easily negotiated, so venturing down the bank 
with my cocked and loaded rifle resting on my shoulder, I 
drove my right leg deep into the mud on the water's edge, 
and with my left stretched out into the water, lowered myself 
down gradually to test the depth of the river — with a view 
to knowing if I could wade across or if I should have to 
swim it. 

Not finding bottom I was about to raise myself again, 
when suddenly, without so much as a swirl of the oily water, 
I felt my leg in an awful grip from below, accompanied by a 
terrific wrench that all but turned me over head-first into 
the river. I just managed to save myself, however, owing to 
my right leg being firmly held, up to the knee, in the 
alluvial mud left by the subsiding water. 

Realising on the instant that I was in the grip of a large 
crocodile, that terror of African waters, from whose jaws few 
men have ever escaped, I nerved myself for a supreme effort 
by clinging on for dear life to the roots about me as the croc, 
strained to pull me under. 

Fortunately for me, to hold on to my rifle when having 
a fall had become a second nature ; I therefore still had 
this in my grip and it lay, as far as I can remember, half 

240 



W^lf^ 




d. An Elephant passing through the 
bamboos in Equatorial Africa. 




d. Enlargement from a cinematograph 
of an Elephant on the Semliki River. 




d. The Head and Tusks of a very large Elephant 
shot by the Author. The native is standing 
up. The tusks weighed about 95 lb. each. 



Elephants 

(the barrel) in water and half in mud, so without aiming I 
simply pressed the trigger. In the back of my mind I was 
not sure whether the rifle was " at safety " or not, so it can 
be imagined with what thrilling joy the muffled report came 
to me from below water and I realised that my foe had, at 
last, let go his hold. 

I now stumbled back on to the mud, and lifting my rifle 
I jammed cartridge after cartridge into the breach, letting 
rip into the water about me. Anywhere — everywhere — so 
long as I warded off a second attack from the loathsome 
reptile. 

"* After this I scrambled on all fours up the bank, and 
unrolling one puttee examined my wounds, which consisted, 
apart from minor abrasions, of four deep holes in my leg, 
the edges of two of them being badly torn. I lay here for 
some little time nursing my painful member, the wounds of 
which had completely incapacitated me from walking, and 
wondering if my friend Lewis could have heard the shots and 
so come to my assistance. To make sure I picked up my 
rifle and fired a second volley. 

Lewis, as he afterwards told me, heard both fusillades, 
and thinking to himself, '* By jove. Barns has got the big 
bull," hurried along the carriers and presently found me 
hoYS de combat as I have described. 

Fearing blood-poisoning after such a dangerous bite and 
our other medicines having been left in the village, we hit 
upon the expedient of rubbing salt into the wounds. This 
proved to be nearly as painful as the nitrate of silver pencil 
used by the doctor on my arrival in Fort Jameson, which 
place I reached in a machilla (a hammock slung on a pole) a 
week later. 

241 R 



The Eastern Congo 



Although all the sympathy I got from my friends was : 
" Well, Barns, I don't think much of that darned old croc., 
if he selected your leg for a feed 1 '' (referring to my sinewy 
member) — the experience is one that few of them would like 
to go through themselves and they little know that the mere 
thought of the encounter had the power, for many months 
afterwards, to bring a chill of fear to my heart and at times 
would make me start up in the night from my sleep, with 
a cold sweat upon me, having dreamt of the living tomb 
that w^as so nearly mine. 

As a tribute to Krupp steel (if that were needed), I might 
say that the barrel of the German 8-mm. Mauser rifle, that 
saved my life and which I had fired under water, on examin- 
ation showed only a small bulge in the barrel and two weals 
in the rifling, to account for its unwonted treatment. But 
it would only shoot straight at a hundred yards when the 
back sight was put up to 350. 

Lewis, who stayed behind in the Luangwa River whilst I 
was recovering from the croc, bite, found one of the elephants 
we had wounded but never got the big one. My comrade, 
to my great regret, not long afterwards contracted sleeping- 
sickness on another elephant shoot, from which he succumbed 
on his way to England. 

To close this chapter I will give an account of what was 
under the circumstances the most strenuous day's elephant 
hunting that I can remember, and which has been brought 
vividly back to my mind by an account I read lately, of 
the old Dutch elephant hunters driving a big herd of 
elephant into a bog where they slaughtered them indis- 
criminately. 

At the commencement of the Great War my wife and myself 

242 



Elephants 

ill were the very first to leave Fort Jameson for the German 
ijl border between Lakes Tanganyika and Nyassa, where we 
arrived before the troops. During the greater part of the 
German East African campaign I was engaged in supplying, 
at that time, the only available meat ration for the native 
troops and military porters, in the form of many tons of 
biltong (dried meat of wild game) and under this category 
came the meat of elephants. 

The rainy season having been the heaviest ever experi- 
enced in that part of Africa, the Chambezi River which 
drains the Tanganyika plateau had overflowed its banks 
and flooded the country far and wide. The flats on either 
side of the lower part of the river especially had been inun- 
dated by the flood, the water standing many feet deep in all 
directions, across miles of open veldt. 

As elephants were reported to be destroying the native 
crops at a village called Msumpi's on the far side of the flooded 
area, into this watery wilderness in search of them came my 
;i wife and I. Not only was the bush knee-deep in water, 
1 1 but it rained '' cats and dogs '* most of the time, so it can 
1 1 well be imagined that after crossing the overcharged Chambezi 
' River in dug-out canoes and wading yet another thirty miles 
beyond, we were thankful to reach the comparatively dry 
village and to know that we had not been misinformed re- 
garding the elephants. Our arrival was hailed with delight 
by the Awemba chief, as the big herd that had located itself 
! in the vicinity of his village, to escape the surrounding flood, 
was gradually eating up the year's food supply of himself 
and his men. 

After a day's rest to dry my belongings I took up the 
spoor of three elephants that had fed in the gardens over 

243 



The Eastern Congo 

night, two of whom, judging by the size of their footprints, 
being old bulls. In this portion of Central Africa the ex- 
perienced hunter can usually tell by the depth and size of 
the spoors, also by the impressions made by the corrugations 
at the bottom of the hoof, if he is following an old bull or 
not. With a few exceptions a " heavy '* spoor means heavy 
ivory. This does not apply, however, in Equatorial Africa, 
where elephants grow immense tusks but may have small 
spoors. Those elephants to be found in Northern Rhodesia 
are much finer animals, however, than any others I have 
seen, though with light ivory, compensated to some extent 
by being of extra fine quality. 

The high land on which Msumpi's village was situated 
and across which the tracks now took me was of small extent, 
and whichever way one turned, led into flooded areas for the 
most part knee-deep in water, so I was not long in coming 
up with the herd, which the three bulls had soon joined after 
their night raid on the gardens. This large troop was 
scattered about in all directions, feeding in the thick scrub, 
but the bulls were nowhere to be seen. Selecting a big cow 
with fine long ivories, I brought her down without much 
difficulty by placing several shots in her shoulder. 

The whole herd, now thoroughly alarmed by the firing, 
crashed off, and finding the narrowed space of high ground 
too confined for their fears, took en masse to the water 
beyond. Knowing that there were several bulls amongst 
them, I and my two trackers followed. 

Anyone who has walked in water with their boots on, 
even for a few hundred yards, will realise how fatiguing and 
what slow progress is possible in such a country. It was 
therefore well on towards evening before we came up with 

244 n 



• 



Elephants 



the tail end of the herd, consisting of one or two stragglers, 
with small tusks, who were in difficulties with the mud. 
The main herd was some distance in advance of these, and 
from this direction, shortly afterwards, came the most 
indescribable hubbub it is possible to imagine. 

Although invisible, the soft nature of the ground on which 
we were treading soon became apparent to my two followers 
and myself by the fact of our falling into deep holes made 
by the feet of the passing elephants in the increasingly soft 
mud. From this it soon became obvious we had followed 
the elephants into a hidden morass. 

Realising now the cause of the uproar which still con- 
tinued on ahead, and that I had before me the chance of an 
elephant hunter's life-time, I left my natives behind and, 
filling my pockets with cartridges, I made a detour to avoid 
the rearmost elephants and the pit-holes, putting forth all 
my energy into reaching the spot from whence the commotion 
proceeded. 

A few hundred yards brought me out into an open expanse 
of low bush, and there, splashing, pushing and anon 
trumpeting, struggled a heaving herd of some seventy 
elephants, all with few exceptions completely bogged and 
entirely at my mercy ! A fortune in ivory to a poor hunter ! 

As I stood there in the deep water, too excited to feel 
tired, wet, or cold, and knowing that by my own endeavour 
I had hunted down the great animals before me, I was sorely 
tempted, like the old Dutch hunters, to grasp my opportunity 
— shoot the lot and be damned to the consequences ! 
Temptation (a curious form of it some people will think) in 
its specious way whispered, '* There are uncountable thousands 
of elephants in Africa. Why worry about those few ? They 

245 



The Eastern Congo 



eat up the natives' gardens so that the natives starve ; 
they help to breed and feed tsetse fly, from the bite of which 
your cattle have died ; they are utterly useless animals and 
retard the advance of civilisation ! " 

These things occurred to me like a flash, but Moderation 
and the Ring-fence won ; besides, the job was a big under- 
taking for one man. I set myself therefore the task of 
slaying those bulls carrying the best ivory, of which there 
were three. The biggest of these was at that moment heaving 
himself free from the grip of the bog beneath on to a group 
of low ant-hills forming an island, and directly facing me, 
at a distance of some twenty-five yards. A younger bull, not 
handicapped with so much weight but having a fine long pair 
of tusks, had already reached this spot and, apparently 
undecided what to do next, stood watching the mass of his 
female companions and calves in their endeavour to clear 
the marsh. Yet a third tusker, having pushed his weaker 
brethren aside, was slowly but surely ploughing through the 
foaming mud and water to the haven already reached by 
his companions, followed by a line of half-submerged females 
and young. 

The psychological moment to open fire had now arrived, 
so raising my magazine rifle I fired at the shoulder of the 
biggest bull, following this up with several other bullets in 
quick succession. The excitement and noise at this juncture 
was something to remember ! At my third or fourth shot 
the wounded bull let forth a resounding trumpet and, turning 
in my direction, charged out at me, in spite of the bullet 
I planted in his face. Seeing me, however, standing in the 
water and knowing the ground would not hold him, he 
slewed round, offering his shoulder for another bullet as he 

246 



Elephants 

did so. Reloading my magazine, I fired at the second and 
third bull, and eventually the three of them, being unable 
to escape, fell to my rifle. By this time the remainder of 
the plunging herd, being bogged deeper than ever, were 
bunched up in groups, and there I left them. When we turned 
up in the morning to cut up the three elephants the others 
had gone, having managed to pull themselves out of the 
marsh in the night. 

By reason of its unwonted setting this episode remains 
in my mind as one of the most exciting I can remember. 
Many others occur to me as I sit writing, but which will 
have to wait for some other occasion — some sad, some cruel, 
some laughable, others again so exciting that they still 
have the power to thrill ; days when the water was all 
finished and such a terrible thirst assailed one that one was 
glad to cut open the water-stomach of an elephant and take 
a drink or make tea with the insipid fluid ; days again when 
one was drenched through to the skin and the wood being 
wet, one had to sleep as best one could in damp clothes ; 
dull days of fever ; delicious days of splendid health ; in 
other words, the storm and sunshine of a hunter's life. 



247 



CHAPTER XVI 

AFRICAN ENTOMOLOGY 

Mr. G. Talbot, F.E.S., Curator of The Hill Museum of Lepidoptera^ 
Witley, Surrey, has very kindly assisted me in the composition of this chapter, also 
in the arranging of the plates, and my thanks are also due to him for participating 
in revising the manuscript of this hook. 

THEY say that the first collector of butterflies and 
moths was a woman and that the *' poor deluded 
creature/' being thought insane/was therefore clapped 
into a mad-house by her relatives. This story rather appeals 
to me and is no doubt perfectly true, for even in these modern 
days an entomologist when outside his laboratory and chasing 
an insect across a field is dubbed as a '' little bit touched, you 
know — poor chap ! '' or " has a screw loose somewhere, rather 
sad in one so young ! " 

In the course of my search for insects in Africa I have 
had some curious and often dangerous — too dangerous — 
experiences. In the first place, I have always been looked 
on as mad, and in some cases whole villages have fled at my 
approach, whilst in others the natives have come up to 
*' boo *' at the " mad Bwana " out collecting, to see what the 
effect was, afterwards running away. By the medicine men 
and native sorcerers, however, I was always treated with the 
greatest respect and regarded by them as a fellow-member 
of their great brotherhood of bluff. In a fishing country 
I have been taken as a fisherman out to net fish with my 
bottles of bait, and elsewhere as a bird-catcher. 

Hunting insects, like hunting animals, takes the collector 
far afield, and I have on many occasions been confronted 

248 



African Entomology 



with elephants, buffaloes, lions, leopards, and snakes which 
I have run into, having nothing more lethal in my hand 
than a net. Sleeping sickness is an ever-present danger to 
the entomologist, for rare insects are to be found in the 
swamps and forests inhabited by both the morsitans and 
palpalis tsetse fly, which have caused the death of more than 
one entomologist in recent years. One notable case especially 
occurs to me, that of the death of Mr. Dollman* and his wife 
from sleeping sickness in Northern Rhodesia. 

The entomologist-collector is a rara avis and is born, not 
made ; he has to be somewhat of an anachronism — a kind 
of Admirable Crichton and war correspondent rolled into one 
— for to be considered an expert foreign and tropical collector 
he has to have the following qualities : a knowledge of all 
branches of natural history and woodcraft and a good bump 
of locality ; he must have a good memory, endurance, and 
patience, be fearless, resolute and painstaking, and hard- 
fisted as well as light-handed as circumstances may demand ; 
also he must be a good linguist and draughtsman. 

The paraphernalia of an entomologist in the tropics 
consists of dozens of cyanide of potassium killing bottles, 
variously shaped nets and collecting boxes, many forceps 
and pins, powerful gasoline lamps for moths at night, as 
well as mixtures of treacle, beer, dried fruit, oil of aniseed, 
and amyl acetate to attract them. Thousands of envelopes 
are required and special boxes for posting home the captures, 
which are not '' set " until they reach their destination, 

* Mr. Dollman was a very painstaking entomologist, who, besides achieving 
valuable results from his breeding experiments, amassed a very fine collection 
of lepidoptera which he generously bequeathed to the British Museum. Mr. 
N. B. Riley, of the Museum staff, has lately published descriptions of new 
species from Mr. Dollman's collection, but a fine set of paintings illustrating 
the Ufe-history of many species still awaits publication. — G, T. 

249 



The Eastern Congo 



when they are " relaxed " for the purpose. NapthaHne is 
used as an insecticide against destructive mites, and a 
solution of formalin is used for preserving larvae. 

The following entomological field notes required from a 
collector concerning his captures will give the reader some 
idea of the work entailed : — 



Entomological Data Required from a Collector. 

Locality. 
{a) If name is not on map give approximate position in 

relation to a place which is on the map. Latitude 

and longitude is always desirable. 
(6) Write a short account of geographical features. This 

will include the general configuration, the presence 

of water, and distance from the sea in the case of 

islands, 
(c) Nature of the flora, noting special types. 
{d) Vertebrate fauna ; abundance or not of birds, reptiles, 

mammals. 
{e) If a mountain, indicate what side. 
(/) If a river, indicate which bank. 
(g) Height above sea-level. 

Climate. 

{a) General remarks. 

{h) Rainfall and humidity. 

(c) Temperatures taken at coolest period, medium period 

and hottest time of day. 
{d) Kind of season : wet, dry, or both. 
[e] Prevailing winds. 

250 



African Entomology 



Time. 

(a) Month when taken. 

{b) Taken in a.m., p.m., or at dusk or attracted to Ught 

at night. 
Habits of Adults. 

(a) Usual feeding haunts. 

(b) What species fly together. 

(c) When several forms are feeding or are at rest in one 

assemblage, try and net all by waiting for those 
that are disturbed to come back. Keep such lots 
separate. 

(d) Note any protection afforded by coloration, etc., when 

at rest. 
{e) Note whether conspicuous on the wing and if can be 

mistaken for another species. 
(/) Note any bird or animal seen catching butterflies, and 

what species of butterfly. Very important. 
(g) When skinning any birds, note if any remains of 

lepidoptera are in the crop. 
(h) Resting attitude. 
(i) Do the sexes fly together and have they similar habits ? 

Do the males *' assemble " to the females ? 
Habits of LARViE. 

(a) Endeavour to rear larvae. 

(b) When adult is known, preserve the larva, both by 

fixation and by formalin. 

(c) Note coloration when alive. 

(d) Note time when feeding. 

{e) Note if conspicuous or protected. 
(/) Preserve portion of food-plant, and include flower 
where possible. 

251 



The Eastern Congo 



(g) Note month. 

(h) Any habits. 

(i) Any enemies observed — also parasites. 

(J) Fix any larvae with curious structures. 

(k) Resting attitude. 

6. Pup^. 

Preserve all pupa-cases where the adult is known. 

7. Ova. 

Where identified, preserve some in 5% formalin. Label 
with date. 

In the course of my travels I have so often been asked, 
What use there is in collecting butterflies, that I feel some 
reply is necessary to refute the implied suggestion and general 
belief that the collecting of lepidoptera is just a rich man's 
hobby. 

Firstly, let me say, therefore, that there is the question 
of its great usefulness from an economic standpoint. The 
origin of silk is too well known to need mention here, but let 
us take the larvae of certain butterflies and moths which 
destroy annually many million pounds' worth of all kinds of 
vegetable and other products useful to man, and we then 
see that any research that tends to lessen or check this loss 
is of supreme advantage to mankind. Then again its usefulness 
is apparent in assisting geologists, botanists, and zoologists 
in their determinations and the solving of many faunal 
geographical enigmas and thus ably adding to the sum of the 
world's knowledge. There are, too, many perplexing questions 
regarding mimicry in butterflies that when finally settled 
will throw fresh light on biological research. Then who can 
ponder for one instant on the wonderful metamorphosis of a 

^52 



African Entomology 

butterfly or moth from an egg through its larval and pupal 
stages to the mature insect without acknowledging that inquiry 
into such a marvellous evolution may not one day lead to 
astonishing results. 

There are lines of research open to the lepidopterist as 
engrossing and no less important than those of the chemist, 
for instance, amongst which may be mentioned inheritance, 
variation, phylogeny, the evolution of wing pattern, data 
bearing on the general question of the origin of species, and 
the interpretation of the phenomena presented by mimetic 
resemblance and geographical distribution. 

A Remarkable Butterfly. 
As far as is certainly known at present, the Ornithoptera 
group of Papilios is unrepresented in Africa, but from reports 
that reach England from time to time it is thought that this 
group may be represented or that a third species of giant 
Papilios exists, similar to the antimachus and zalmoxis, or 
even perhaps a hybrid between these two. There is, for 
instance, an authenticated report of such an insect having 
been seen in Liberia which rather bears out my own experience 
when crossing the higher Lindi River in the Stanleyville 
district of the Belgian Congo. I was on my way to Stanley- 
ville from a place named Irumu, near Lake Albert, and having 
arrived at the Lindi River, which at this point is a good 
two hundred yards wide, I w^as crossing it in a canoe when 
from the opposite bank came flying towards me a large insect 
of the antimachus type but of heavier build and flight. It 
circled over the water and round and above the canoe, where I 
got a good look at it. The hind wings appeared to me to be a 
rich brown, spotted and barred with black at the edges, the 

253 



The Eastern Congo 



fore wings having each a broad transverse bar across thei 
of a vivid blue-green on a ground colour of black. Th< 
insect eventually flew away over the trees, and although 
waited there for the rest of the day it never returned. Some 
five or six miles farther on, and in the forest, I thought I 
saw a similar insect, but I could not be sure that this was 
not a zalmoxis. 

I put down this record for what it is worth, as the insect 
may subsequently be captured by some lucky individual. 
I have of course been asked why I did not stay a week or 
a month on the spot and attempt to capture so great a prize ; 
the answer is that at that time (not long after the signing of 
the Treaty of Peace) passages to England were exceedingly 
difficult to obtain, and having booked and paid for two 
berths (for myself and my wife) on a homeward bound 
steamer six months in advance, I was unable to give the 
time necessary for the purpose without losing our passages. 
As a matter of fact, I reached my port of embarkation with 
only two days to spare. 

Enemies of Butterflies. 

From close observation made in the course of my travels 
through Central Africa, which have been spread over a period 
of twenty-five years, I am of the opinion that African birds 
are not partial to butterflies as food. Always excepting the 
African pied wagtail. The number of times I have seen birds 
attempting to catch butterflies can be counted on the fingers 
of one hand, and only once have I seen a bird actually with 
one in its beak. 

The pied wagtail, which is found in great numbers 
throughout Africa, is a notable exception to this, and in 

254 



African Entomology 

places where butterflies are common these insects become 
their main food supply. These birds are a source of con- 
siderable annoyance to the collector, as a male and female 
bird will often take up a position at a mud-hole or other place 
frequented by scarce species, where they continue to disturb 
and eat the butterflies, often under one's very nose. They 
seem to have a partiality for Papilios and Pierids, but 
apparently leave most red and red-brown butterflies alone 
when there are others. These birds know the Acraeids quite 
well, and even amongst a collection of red and red-brown 
butterflies will always select for instance a Lachnoptera iole 
or columhina and leave the Acraeids untouched. 

I have seen these wagtails eat various species of Papilio, 
Charaxes, Euphcedra, Dtestogyna, Pierids, Lachnoptera, 
Lyccenids, Hesperids, and Nymphalids. 

In the crops of many wild birds which have come under 
my notice I have never seen a part of any butterfly, but pupae 
(and of course larvae) frequently. The contents of the crop 
of one guinea-fowl that I shot contained thirty-four pupae 
of one species of large moth. 

Next to the pied wagtail in point of destructiveness to 
butterflies come frogs and the smaller lizards, which catch 
and eat a great number, principally in places where the 
butterflies come to drink and feed. Both lizards and frogs 
seem partial to Lycaenids and Pierids. They also leave the 
Acraeids and red and red-brown butterflies severely alone. 

After the lizards may be mentioned the large stink ants 
(Paltothyreus) which, with the larger dragon-flies are, as far 
as my observation goes, the only African insects that 
will directly catch a live butterfly with their mandibles. I 
have watched stink ants at different times in twos or threes 

255 



The Eastern Congo 

creep up to a collection of Pierids feeding, each catch a large 
Pierid (to which they seem partial) in their strong hooked 
mandibles, kill them and carry them off to their nest. It 
often happens that the ant does not get a vital grip of its 
prey ; there is then a tussle — strength of wing versus weight. 
The butterfly will frequently carry the ant a considerable 
distance, although the ant is usually the victor, as he never 
lets go his grip. The feeding places of the Pierids are often 
littered with wings and parts of wings, where these ants 
have made a habit of coming daily to catch their food. On 
two occasions I have observed these ants catch Acraeids and 
take them away to their nests. 

In the plant world the large African sun-dew attracts 
Lycaenids and Pierids. The dead and dying insects may be 
seen caught in its wonderful fly-traps ; again others may be 
seen fluttering around entangled in its sticky exudation. 

So much for the enemies of the mature butterfly ; but 
the moths have more to contend with, for apart from night 
birds — the night-jars, owls, swifts, etc. — the small rodents, 
lemurs and bats catch and eat all they can see ; the latter 
are especially numerous in Africa and adepts at catching all 
kinds of insects on the wing. Then again at night come out 
that terrible band of nocturnal insects, added to which are 
large numbers of voracious spiders, all on the look-out for 
the half-awakened moth just out of its chrysalis. 

Regarding the feeding and flying together of various 
species of butterflies, I have made many notes, but as a 
matter of fact at one time or another both in the forest and 
steppe regions (with a few exceptions, such as Euxanthe or 
Mycalesis), members of almost every species can be seen 
flying, feeding, or drinking together at one time or another. 

256 




!- if) 



^H 









o 

O ^ 

x: c 

C ^ 

•-- CD 



e^.S 



^Tj 





African Entomology 

Thus it will be seen that observations under this head are of 
little significance .[In the case of mimetic forms the observations 
are important. — G. T.] 

There appears to be an interesting line of research amongst 
the parasitic larvae of small moths to be found on other 
insects, such as E pipy r ops fulvipuncta Dist., a Limacodid 
moth whose larva lives in the nest of a Homopterous insect 
and feeds on its nymphs, also in the fact of larvae of certain 
Lepidoptera being found inhabiting some ants' nests, where 
they appear to be fed and attended to by these wonderful 
insects. There are also in Africa a number of species of 
social moths of the Anaphe group which form '* nests '' of 
cocoons from which a fine quality of silk can be spun, and 
with which the Germans experimented successfully in the 
weaving of silk. Then again there is much w^ork to be done 
in the breeding of such species as the Euphcedra, Euryphene, 
Euryphtira, Diestogyna and Cymothce to determine the relation- 
ships of the many varied forms they present. 

The life-history of the greater part of African Lepidoptera 
is entirely unknown, and much work remains to be done. A 
jthorough investigation into the life-history of the smaller 
imoths would be of great utility, as many of these insects 
become serious pests to the planters or plants. 

Such lines of research are only possible to entomologists 
Iwith time and the necessary equipment at their disposal, and 
who have permanent bases in Africa, such as Government 
entomologists, to whom I would commend these notes. 



257 



CHAPTER XVII 

CINEMATOGRAPHY AND PHOTOGRAPHY 

THE equipment of an explorer and collector in these 
days cannot be considered complete without a cine- 
matograph outfit as well as one for still photography. 
I therefore decided some years ago to take up this new art, 
to record and to reveal to others some of the secrets that 
wild and savage Nature hides so securely from all save those 
who seek her treasures in remote corners of the world. As 
I was a novice with a " movie *' camera it may be of interest 
to some to know how I fared. 

Let me say at once that as a money-making scheme I 
found the taking of moving pictures of wild life a failure. 
Possibly on account of the cinematograph trade being 
proverbially a '' close " one and held by a ring of Jews, or 
maybe because the market is flooded with such pictures, or 
because of the lack of business training in myself, or the 
somewhat depraved public taste in pictures ; in any case, 
whatever the cause, I have never received one penny in 
return for several hundred pounds spent on the work. I 
have received offers for some of my films, but of such a 
nature that, as I told one Hebrew, I would sooner burn the 
lot than dispose of any at such a price. 

Wild life subjects have an immense appeal to the travelled 
and scientific classes, but their numbers are comparatively 
few, therefore it is that the taking of Nature pictures in 
savage lands is unlikely to become anything more, at present, 
than an expensive hobby for the amateur. 

258 



Cinematography 

Throughout the expedition that this book describes I 
carried a Gillon camera with me, one of the older models 
and much too heavy for my purpose ; but it had this 
advantage, however, that it was exceedingly strong. I had 
with it a Zeiss-Tessar 3.4-inch lens and a Ross " Xpres " 
6-inch lens. The negative stock I had posted out to me in 
small lots, direct from the makers, to ensure its freshness, 
and after exposure it was repacked and posted home on 
the first opportunity for development. I also made a practice 
of developing short slips cut off the ends of the rolls, to see 
if everything was going on all right, and if my exposures 
were correct. Invariably I used the Watkins' kinematograph 
exposure meter, with pendulum for timing exposures, and 
found it invaluable. 

At first I experienced some difficulty in turning the handle 
of the camera at a uniform rate of speed, but after a little 
practice this is easy. A good method for the novice is to 
count out loud — one hundred and one — one hundred and 
two, and so on, as the handle is turned ; these numbers 
counted out in the ordinary way of speaking give the desired 
speed of two turns or sixteen pictures to the second. A new 
hand is apt to turn the handle too fast. 

I found it of the utmost importance to keep the rather 
complicated machinery of the camera well oiled and clean. 
The " gate " through which the film passes to be exposed 
is another thing that needs constant attention to keep it 
free from grit and other foreign matter that would scratch 
the film. After exposing each roll I used to rub this well 
with a lightly vaselined wash-leather, and then again with 
a second dry piece kept for the purpose. 

The price I paid for Eastmans' perforated negative stock 

259 



The Eastern Congo 

was 2d, per foot, for developing it id. per foot, and for 
printing 3^^. per foot. Added to this was the import duty 
into England of $d. per foot on exposed and undeveloped 
film, bringing the actual cost per foot of the finished pictures 
up to iiji., without taking into consideration the cost of 
obtaining the films, postage, wear and tear of camera, and 
losses through damaged and perished j&lm. 

Loss through the latter cause was often a considerable 
item. I well remember receiving a consignment of two 
thousand feet of negative stock from a Birmingham firm 
which reached me in Africa. It looked well enough when I 
inspected it with the aid of a small travelling dark lamp, 
and having none other at the time, I loaded my camera with 
several rolls, setting forth to hunt up a herd of elephants 
that I knew were in the vicinity of my camp. As luck would 
have it, in the course of the day I found a number of these 
animals bogged in a marsh and offering a wonderful chance 
for filming them, which I set about doing without loss of 
time. My chagrin can be better imagined than described 
when I came to develop pieces of these films, which I thought 
would be absolutely unique, and found that the stock was 
quite hopelessly perished — all of it — not one single foot was 
of any use ! The worst part of such a catastrophe in the 
African wilds is the fact that the camera-man is quite helpless 
on such occasions, for fresh supplies of any kind cannot reach 
him from England under many months. 

As I passed through late German East Africa shortly 
after the war there was no parcel post organised, resulting 
in a considerable delay in sending my films home for develop- 
ment. On this account, and owing to other delays at home, 
some of them remained undeveloped for nine months, without 

260 



Cinematography 

however affecting them very adversely.* Some of my best 
animal films I obtained in the wonderful game country of 
Lake Edward. On the Semliki River I found the elephant 
so tame that it was possible to get pictures of them at very 
close quarters ; the grass being short, conditions were 
ideal there. 

My method of approaching dangerous game to film them 
was with the camera and tripod ready fixed, mounted on my 
shoulder. Having previously tested the light with the meter 
and stopped the lens, it was only necessary to focus it. 
Taking advantage of all cover, I went forward in short runs, 
followed by one native with my rifle, and on getting as close 
as possible I set down the camera and tripod and started the 
handle, after adjusting the view-finder and focusing if 
necessary. It is usual for the animal cinematographer to 
have lenses up to twelve-inch focus and even over, but I 
am not in favour of them as being unwieldy, hard of focus, 
and giving a shaky image ; I rather prefer to have a lens of 
medium focus and get nearer the object. On the plains of 
Lake Edward I have approached to within twenty-five 
paces of elephants, buffaloes, and hippo'. As is usual where 
quickness is essential, I had my lens mount marked for 
various distances, so that it was only necessary to set the 
lens on the mark without looking through the focusing tube. 

Originality is the high-road to success, and no less so 
with wild life cinematography than with any other branch 
of art. In my efforts I climbed equatorial Alps, peered 
into active craters, crawled after elephants, buffaloes, 

*A good plan to ensure exposed negative stock reaching its destination 
in good condition is to take plenty of fine adhesive tape and to wind it round the 
sides of the tins, afterwards wrapping them in several coverings of special 
absorbent paper, which should be gummed down. 

261 



The Eastern Congo 

lions, and all kinds of game, and — sometimes with a patience 
that astonished myself — waited for the psychological moment 
when certain butterflies were grouping themselves to the 
best advantage. 

My most successful pictures, and those that attracted 
most attention when I lectured with them, were a solitary 
old bull buffalo, elephants on the Semliki River, a herd of 
hippo racing through the water, the eruptive shaft of the 
Niragongo volcano, alpine vegetation on the Ruwenzori 
mountains, and the snow-capped Stanley peak, the Ituri 
River scenery, the Watusi dances, the pygmies and insects. 

I had the finest opportunity to film a troop of gorillas 
that ever fell to the lot of man, but it is impossible to shoot 
animals and film them at the same time — it must be either 
the one or the other ; both cannot be undertaken together 
successfully. On this occasion I decided that a bird in the 
hand was worth two on the film, so used my rifle in the place 
of the camera. 

With regard to ordinary still photography, I have tried 
all sorts of cameras and am never without one. I consider 
the pre-war lenses and cameras far superior and more likely 
to give lasting satisfaction than those made to-day. There 
is no comparison between the workmanship and finish of a 
1914 camera and one made in 1920 ; the former is a far better 
article. For this reason I would advise an intending purchaser 
to go to a good firm dealing in second-hand cameras and 
selecting one of the pre-war makes with a pre-war lens, having 
the latter repolished if need be. An all-round lens that has 
given me the utmost satisfaction for the past fifteen years, 
and is still as good as ever, is a Beck-Steinheil Orthostigmat. 

To meet all requirements of a long expedition I think 

262 



Cinematography 

four cameras are necessary, viz., a quarter-plate combined 
hand and stand camera and a quarter-plate reflex fitted with 
a full range of lenses, interchangeable for either camera. 
Thirdly, a Panoram Kodak for survey work, and lastly, a 
vest-pocket camera. 

Roll films are anathema to me. I always take glass 
plates as giving far and away the best results, as much in 
point of their keeping qualities as in the resulting negative, 
although stiff films and film packs are both serviceable and 
reliable. As a quarter-plate negative will enlarge well up to 
almost any size, a larger camera than this is unnecessary 
when weight and general handiness are to be considered. 

Needless to say, I have always undertaken my own 
developing, and have found a lightly coloured solution of 
permanganate of potash a useful hypo eliminator in hot 
climates, where softening of the emulsion is inevitable. 

I think the making of a successful photograph lies in 
knowing and selecting the most suitable place from where to 
take it ; this should never be done haphazard if a pleasing 
result is desired. Another thing worth remembering is, take 
the photograph on the slowest plate that the subject and 
light will allow. A camera should be loaded with both fast 
and slow plates — the continuous use of fast plates of the 
same speed is by no means desirable or necessary. 

Reverting again to cinematography, it may save the 
unwary amateur from a pitfall if I record the fact that theie 
is a law passed in England which disallows the importation 
of cinematograph films as traveller's baggage. I know this, 
as I once arrived at Plymouth with some two thousand feet 
of exposed film in one of my trunks, which I duly declared 
on arrival and handed over to the customs authorities for 

263 



The Eastern Congo 

forwarding to the Bonded Film Warehouse at Endell Street. 
When I received the account for the importation duty of 
fivepence per foot I was astonished to find there was an 
additional twelve pounds added on as a fine for having done 
this. After some difficulty I managed to get this fine 
remitted to one of twenty shillings, with a caution and a 
note to the effect that pleading ignorance of the law was 
no defence. 



264 



Appendix 






Mr. Barns' Collections and Aspects 
of Butterfly Life in Africa. 

By G. Talbot, F.E.S. 

The country traversed by Mr. and Mrs. Barns was calculated to yield 
some novelties in butterflies and moths. The Katanga district of the 
Belgian Congo, the region around Lake Kivu, and the Ituri Forest, 
have not received so much attention from the entomologist as the 
better-known regions of the west, the south. East Africa and Uganda. 
The dense forest region of the Congo hinterland still holds many 
surprises for the butterfly and moth collector. The existence of an 
unknown species of giant Papilio, already referred to by Mr. Barns, 
must be considered as one of the most wonderful butterfly discoveries 
of recent years. Mr. Barns is once again in Africa in quest of this 
rare insect, but at the time of writing no specimens have been seen. 
Confirmation of the existence of this butterfly has been supplied by 
my friend Monsieur F. le Cerf of the Paris Museum. 

A certain Sergeant Monceaux (now Captain), when employed on 
the Franco-Liberian Boundary Commission for the delimitation of the 
frontier between Liberia and French Guinea, made a collection of 
over 4,000 Lepidoptera which he brought to the Paris Museum. He 
stated as having seen m the region of the Upper Sasandra River a 
large butterfly drinking at a pool of water on the road. It closed and 
opened its wings alternately, and the observer was able to get fairly 
close to it before it flew away. The sergeant stated that the wings 
of this butterfly were very long and for the greater part of a brilhant 
blue colour. 

Monsieur le Cerf showed Sergeant Monceaux several species in 

the museum including P. zalmoxis, but he recognised none of them as 

I being the insect he had seen. The sergeant pulled out some other 

I drawers and seeing P. antimachus, exclaimed : " Cest comme cette 

II espice Id, mats avec beaucoup de bleu brillant et encore plus grand." 
\ (It is like that species there, but with a lot of bright blue and still 
I' larger.) 

This butterfly has been observed also on two occasions in Nigeria. 

The total number of specimens collected by Mr. and Mrs. Barns 
was 4,300. These comprise over 760 distinct forms of butterflies, 
and considerably more than 250 species of moths. Most of these 
have been worked out, and we have described as new to science, y^ 
forras of butterflies and 57 moths, with one moth forming the type 

267 



Aspects of Butterfly Life 

of a new genus Descriptions of these and figures of most of them are 
given in " The Bulletin of the Hill Museum," Part I, 1921. 

The collection is the finest that has been made in the Kivu region 
and in the Ituri Forest, and is remarkable for the great number of 
species and new forms. The majority of the specimens were in fine 
condition and accompanied by a precise statement of the date and 
locality. In many cases Mr. Barns was able to add some notes on 
the habits of the insects. 

The collection adds much to our knowledge of the distribution 
of many forms. Most African species range over the whole continent 
south of the Sahara, and the occurrence of species hitherto known only 
from South Africa, as far north as the Semliki Valley, is a further 
illustration of the wide range of African butterflies. It is interesting 
to note that these Semliki and Lake Edward specimens exhibit no 
divergence from their South African brothers. The two environments 
are most likely very similar. With a difference in the physical environ- 
ment we generally find some divergence from the typical form of the 
insect, though mostly not sufficient to constitute an entirely distinct 
form or species. Many of the new forms described from the collection 
represent what are known as geographical races or species in the making. 

The definite wet and dry seasons which prevail in most parts of 
Africa, have their effect on the butterfly fauna. Some species exhibit 
two quite different-looking forms, one flying in the wet, the other flying 
in the dry season. There are often two forms of male and two forms 
of female. One species of the Pierids possesses seven forms of female 
of which Mr. Barns took four. The dry season form of butterfly is 
especially common in the grassy steppe regions, whilst in the evergreen 
forest belt of the west, the butterflies are larger and more richly 
marked. These two types of country support quite different species 
and forms, but as these areas cut into one another we can see why 
the species are so widely distributed 

The grassy steppes of the east are the habitat of a multitude of 
butterflies belonging to the family of the " Whites," amongst which, 
species of the genus Teracohis are conspicuously common, with their 
red- and purple-tipped wings. Together with these are great numbers 
of red-brown and yellow-brown spotted Acraeids. 

As one reaches the forest lands of the west, the butterflies 
characteristic of dry country disappear, but whenever long grass 
country intersects the forest, these denizens of the steppes may be seen. 

A rich diversity of butterflies and moths is found in the vast ever- 
green forests of the Congo basin, and it is remarkable what a number 
of species live in the gloomy depths of these forests where sunlight 
does not penetrate and where flowers are seldom seen. These insects 
find their sustenance in tree gums, sap, decaying animal matter, and 

268 



Aspects of Butterfly Life 

in the excrement of animals. The Hfe and feeding habits of many of 
these beautiful butterflies is quite contrary to the popular idea which 
associates them with flowers and bright sunhght. 

The different types of country traversed by the expedition exhibit 
different types of butterfly fauna. The Lufira Valley is very rich in 
species. Here one finds all types of butterflies ranging from the west 
coast, the Cameroons, Angola, the Congo Forest, East and South 
Africa. Though many of these remain unchanged, others are to be 
distinguished as races or as species whose further distribution is not 
fully known. Four butterflies and ten moths were new to science 
from this district. These include a very fine species of Agaristid moth 
which we have named Mitophrys harnsi. 

The district around Albertville produces dry country forms of 
East and South African types. Four butterflies are described as new 
from here. 

The Ujiji, Ruanda, and Ruindi districts are mostly grassy 
steppes supporting South and East African elements. Two butterflies 
and thirteen moths are described as new from this region. The grassy 
steppes were found to be the habitat of a form of the EngHsh " Small 
Copper " (Chrysophaniis phlaeas pseudophlaeas Luc), scarcely dis- 
tinguishable from our own. There also occurred more commonly 
the "Short-tailed Blue" {Polyommatiis hoeiica L.), formerly found in 
England but occuring in Jersey and distributed to Polynesia. It 
occurs in suitable localities throughout Africa. 

The volcanic region of Lake Kivu exhibits a type composed of 
modifications of East African and Ruwenzori forms, some species 
being identical even with those met with on Ruwenzori. Eight 
butterflies and eleven moths are described as new. These include two 
distinct Acraeids one of which, quite unlike any previously known, 
we have called hettiana in honour of Mrs. Barns. It was taken flying 
over the hot and dry lava plains. A remarkable Lycaenid {Harpen- 
dyreus reginaldt Heron) only previously known by one specimen from 
Ruwenzori, was observed visiting the flowers of giant heather around 
the Niragongo Volcano. A species of Fritillary (Argynnis excelsior 
But!) only known before from Ruwenzori, Lake Tanganyika and the 
Cameroons was found around the volcanoes visiting the flow-ers of 
thistles and similar plants. Four African species are know^n of this 
genus and a race of an Indian foim occurs in Abyssinia. 

The mountains of Ruwenzori on the west side where Mr. Barns 
collected, show a mixture of Congo and Uganda types. A number of 
small moths were found flying at 13,000 feet, and some of these proved 
to be new. From Ruwenzori we have four butterflies and eight moths 
which are new. A very pretty Noctuid moth from the Semhki was 
named Diaphone harnsi. 

269 




CNTAHiQ 



Aspects of Butterfly Life 

The Ituri Forest is very rich in species whose allies may be found 
in Uganda and across the western forest belt to the coast. Twenty- 
three butterflies of which fifteen belong to the family of the " Blues " 
were found to be new, as well as six moths. One of these moths is 
the representative of a species of the Saturnid family hitherto known 
only from Sierra Leone. It is remarkable for the hind wing being 
produced to a very long tail This new form is much larger than its 
relative It has received the name of Eudaemonia argiphontes harnsi. 
The Leaf Butterfly (Kallima cymodoce Cram.) was observed feeding on 
small flowering plants in the Ituri district. When disturbed it flies 
into the undergrowth where it defies detection. A rarer species, but 
more strongly leaf-like in its markings on the underside, is Kallima 
ansorgei Roths., of which several specimens were taken in the dense 
forest. 

The forest region of the Lindi and Congo rivers contains very 
similar forms to those found in the Ituri. There were, however, 
several forms new to science not represented in the Ituri Collection. 
These comprise eleven butterflies and four moths. One of the former, 
a richly coloured blue species of Lycaenid, we have named Epamera 
harnsi. 

Scarcely anything is known as yet of the habits and life history 
of the majority of the African butterflies and moths, though many of 
the South African species have been worked out. In recent years, 
the life-history of many Southern Nigerian insects, especially the re- 
markable association of Lycaenids with ants, has been made known 
through the labours of Dr. W. A. Lamborn and Mr. C. O. Farquharson. 
Interested readers are referred to the transactions of the Entomological 
Society of London for 1913 and 1921. Most of the Lepidoptera have 
a very short period of flight, so that a collector who visits a locality 
at different times of the year will obtain a greater number of species 
than at any single period. On this account a vast number of species 
must await discovery on the African Continent. 



270 



List of Forms of Lepidoptera New to 
Science Collected by Mr. & Mrs. Barns. 

By G. Talbot. 

Descriptions of these insects and figures of most of them are published 
in "The Bulletin of The Hill Museum," Part I, 1921, and the types are in 
the collection of J. J. Joicey, Esq. A certain number of moths remain to 
be worked out, and it is probable that a few other novelties will be 
established. 

The NocUiidae were worked out by Miss A. E. Prout, F.E.S., and the 
Geometridae by Mr. L. B. Prout, F.E.S. 

BUTTERFLIES. 

Family Pieridae 

Mylothris interposita. — Bafwasende, April, one male. 

Mylothris latimargo. — Lufira valley, one female ; Urindi District, one male. 

Type from Kavirondo, E. Africa. (Coll. Neumann ) 
Mylothris niandana Strand. — The female. One male also taken on the 

lava plains, Kivu, October. 
Pieris solilucis Butl. — Female form sabulosa. — Two females from Ituri 

district, January and February. 
Pinacopieryx vidua Butl. — Female form primulifia. — Two females from 

Ruanda, August. 

Family Danaidae 

Amauris egialea similis. — Type from Kivu, October, also two males from 
Semliki. Also known from Uganda, East Africa and Kilimanjaro. 

Family Acraeidae 

Planema macaria hemileuca Jord. — The female; also one male; both from 

Ituri, Februaiy and May. 
Acraea eltringhami. — One male from Ruanda, September. 
Acraea beftiana. — Kivu, September and October, five males and one female. 
Acraea bettiana, form hissejensis. — One male from Kivu, September. 
Acraea disiuncta Grosesmith, form alciopoides. — Resembles very strongly a 

common species called Acraea alciope Hew. Two males from the 

Ituri, January. Also known from Uganda. 
Acraea leucopyga latiapicalis. — One male from the Upper Congo, June. 

271 



List of New Forms of Lepidoptera 

Family Nymphalidae 

Ergolis enotrea stiff usa, — Male and female types from Albertville, June ; 

also one male from Sabaka River. Also known from Uganda and 

Angola. 
Ergolis alhifascia. — Male and female types from Semliki and Lindi, December 

and April ; also four males and one female from Ituri, January to May. 

Also known from W. Africa, Cameroons and Uganda. 
Ergolis per sonata. — One female from Ituri, March. Types from Upper Kasai 

district. (Coll. Landbeck.) 
Byhlia acheloia crameri Auriv., form nigrifusa. — One female from the Lindi 

April. 
Precis archesia Cram., form ohsoleta. — Type from Ujiji district, July. Also 

known from Angola and Rhodesia. 
Hypolimnas salmacis Drury, female form ochreata. — Found together with 

normal white females of the species from West Africa to Uganda. 
Aterica galene Brown, foim alhimacula. — Found together with the typical 

form from West Africa to Uganda. 
Cymothoe theohene D. & H., female form umbrina. — ^Two from Ituri, January 

and March. Also known from Ashanti, Cameroons and Upper Kasai. 
Cymothoe eris Auriv. — The female from Tshopo River, April. Also known 

from Kasai River. 
Euptera semirufa. — One female from the Ituri, March. 
Euptera hirundo lufirensis. — Lufira Valley, May. Two males and one female. 
Euryphura porphyrion congoensis. — Female from Ituri Forest, January. 

Male known from the Kasai River. 
Euryphura plautilla Hew., female form alhimargo. — One specimen from Ituri, 

January. 
Diestogyna umbrina Auriv. — One specimen of the female from Ituri, 

February. 
Euryphene laetitioides. — A series of eight males and seven females from Ituri, 

January and March, and Semliki, December. Also known from 

Cameroons, May and June. 
Euryphene brunnescens. — Ituri, January to March, three males and two 

females ; Semliki valley, December, two males. 
Euphaedra ceres Fabr., form phosphor. — Three males from Albertville, June. 
Euphaedra preussi Stgr., form obsoleta. — One female from Ituri, January. 
Euphaedra lupercoides Roths. — One specimen of the female from Lindi, April. 
Euphaedra eleus Drury, female form coerulea. — One specimen from the Ituri, 

February. 
Euphaedra eleus nigrobasalis. — Lufira valley, May ; one male and two females. 
Charaxes imperialis albipuncta. — One male from Ituri, March. Also known 

from the Cameroons and Upper Kasai. 
Charaxes eupale latimargo. — Ituri, January to May, seven males. Also 

known from the Cameroons, Congo and Uganda. 
Charaxes subornatus minor. — Ituri, January to March ; two males. Known 

also from Uganda and Nairobi. 
Euxanthe crossleyi intermedia. — Two males from the Ituri, January. 

272 



List of New Forms of Lepidoptera 

Family Satyridae 
Mycalesis asochis congoensis. — Lindi district, April, two males ; Congo, May, 

one male. 
Mycalesis persimilis. — Ruwenzori from 1,500 to 2,200 metres, December, 

four males and one female. 

Family Erycinidae 
Abisara barnsi. — One female from the Semliki, December. 

Family Lycaenidae 

Telipna angustifascia. — One male from Bafwaboli. Also known from Upper 

Kasai, the Cameroons and Uganda. 
Telipna subhyalina. — Ituri, March, two females. 

Telipna hollandi. — Ituri, January, one male. Also known from Upper Kasai. 
Psetideresia neavei. — Five malea from Semliki, January. Also known from 

Uganda. 
Pentila auga congoensis. — Ituri, January, one male ; Semliki, December, one 

female. 
Citrinophila terias. — Ituri, January, two females. 
Liptena ilma lathy i. — Five males from Kivu, November. 
Eresina toroensis. — One female from Ituri, January. Also known from 

Uganda. 
Epitola ammon. — One female from Ituri, March. 
Epitola viridana. — One male fiom Ituri, March. 
Epitola iturina. — A male from Ituri, April. 
Epitola urania tanganikensis. — Albertville, June, three males. 
Hewitsonia kirbyi Dew., female form intermedia. — Two specimens from Ituri, 

January and February. Also known from Uganda and Cameroons. 
Hewitsonia boisduvali congoensis. — One male from Ituri, January. Also 

known from Upper Kasai. 
Hypokopelates ituri Bethune-Baker, form lineosa. — Lindi district, April, five 

males ; Ituri, March and April, four males. 
Hypokopelates canesens. — One male from Albertville, June. 
Tanuetheira prometheus congoensis. — One female from Albertville, June. 
Argiolaus silaris iturensis. — One female from Bafwaboli, April. 
Epamera fuscomarginata. — One m^ale from Bafwaboli, April. 
Epamera barnsi. — One male from Bafwaboli, April. 
Epamera f rater. — Lindi district, April, three males. 
Hypolycaena buxtoni puella. — One female from Ruwenzori, 2,500 metres, 

December ; one female from Ruanda, September. 
7eltus antifaunus latimaciila. — One male from Ruindi district, July ; four 

males and two females from Ruanda, August ; one female from 

Ruindi plains, November. Also known from North Rhodesia and 

Uganda. 
CnpidesfJies cuprifascia. — One male from Bafwasende, April. 
Cupidesthes minor. — One female from Ituri, April. 
Lycaenesthes discimacitla. — Ituri, January to May, three males. 

273 T 



List of New Forms of Lepidoptera 

Lycaenesthes hipuncta. — One male from Semliki, January ; one female from 

Lindi district, April. 
Tnclema itiiriensis. — Ituri, March to April, six males. 
Ohoronia rutshurensis. — Seven males from Kivu, November. 
Caiochrysops celaeus kiviiensis. — Ituri, February, one male and one female ; 

Kivu, September and October, three females. 
Caiochrysops kisaha. — Kivu, September, seven males. 

Family Hesperiidae 
Sarangesa pandaensis. — Lufira Valley, May, two males. 

Celaenorrhinus mozeeki kivuensis. — One male from Kivu, October. ' 

Ceratrichia flava semlikensis. — Semliki, December, four males ; Ruwenzori, \ 
2,200 metres, December, one female ; Ituri, January, one male. 

MOTHS. 

Family Amatidae 

Apisa subargentea. — Ruanda, August, one female. 
Metarctia virgata. — Kivu, 2,400 feet, September, two males. 
Metarciia ochreogaster. — Ituri, January, two males ; Semliki, December, ; 
one male. 

Family Arctiidae 

Spilosoma riifa. — Kivu, September and October, two males. 
Maenas nigrilinea. — One female from Ruanda, August. 
Maenas paucipiincta. — One male from Ruanda, August. 

Family Noctuidae , 

Timora joiceyi. — Lufira Valley, one male. 

Crater estr a sufficiens. — Urindi district, July and August, one male. i 

Aspidifrontia contrastata. — One female from Lufira Valley, March. ; 

Diaphone harnsi. — Semliki, December, two females. i 

Graphania tortirena. — Ruwenzori, December, one female. 

Plusiophaes metallica. — ^The type of a new genus. One male from thei 

Urindi District, July and August. \ 

Achaea determinata. — One male, probably from the eastern Kivu district, i 
Achaea tornistigma. — One male from Ruanda, August. i 

Nagia dentiscripta. — One female, Congo River, May. 

Argyrolopha punctilinea. — Lufira Valley, November and December, one male. 
Goriia polita. — One male from Congo, May. Also known from Gold Coast. 
Egnasia scoliogramma. — One female from Ituri, March. 
Bleptina cryptoleuca. — Semliki, December, one male. 
Hypena albirhomboidea. — One female from Ruwenzori at 2,500 metres, 

December. 
Hypena euthygramma. — Urindi district, August, one male. 
Hypena semlikiensis. — Semliki, December, one male. 

274 



List of New Forms of Lepidoptera 

Hypena ititriensis. — Two males from Ituri, January and February. 
Hyblaea euryzona. — One male from Lufira Valley, May. 

Family Agaristidae 
Mitophrys barnsi. — Lufira Valley, December, one male. 



Family Lymantriidae 

Laelia conjunctifascia. — One male from the Malagarasi Valley, July. Also 
known from North-east Rhodesia. 

Family Hypsidae 
Phaegorista proitii. — One male from Lufira Valley, November to December. 

Family Geometridae 

Prasin(^cyma neglecta. — Urindi district, July and August, male and female. 
Also known from Nyasaland. 

Eois oressigenes. — One female from Kivu, 2,800 metres, September. 

Xanthorhoe latissima. — One male, probably from the eastern Kivu distiict. 

Larentia barnsi. — Ruwenzori at 4,000 metres, December, seven males. 

Larentia altipeta. — Ruwenzori at 3,000 metres, December, one female. 

Calostigia conchnlata. — One male from Kivu, October. 

Calostigia phiara. — One male from Ruwenzori, 2,300 metres, November. 

Enphyia altispex. — ^Two males from Kivu, October, one at 4,000 metres. 

Epirrhoe euthygramma. — One male from Kivu, October. 

Hydrelia sjostedti mio7ioseista. — Kivu, August to September, three males. 

Asthenotricha semidivisa euchroma. — One male from Kivu, October. 

Asthenotricha straba. — Kivu, September and October, two males. Also 
known from East Africa. 

Asthenotricha malostigma. — One male from Kivu at 2,600 metres, October. 

Lobidiopteryx stulta. — Ituri, January, one male. 

Cleora inaequipicta. — One male from Lufira Valley, November to December. 

Pitthea sospes. — One male from North Rhodesia, January. Also known 
from North-west Rhodesia. 

Pitthea neavei aurantifascia. — Ruanda, August, four males and one female. 

Terina tanyeces. — One male from Ituri, January. 

Ereunetea acrogyra. — Urindi district, July, one female. 

Amnemopsyche charmione lufira. — Lufira Valley, February to April, five 
males and one female. 

Zamarada hero. — Congo, May, one male. 

Zamarada enippe. — Congo, Maj^, one male. 

Zamarada acosmeta. — Urindi district, July to August, one female ; Mala- 
garasi Valley, July, one female. 

Family Saturn iidae 
Pseudaphelia basiflava. — Congo, May, one male. 
Endaemonia argiphontes barnsi. — Ituri, March, one male. 

275 



List of New Forms of Lepidoptera 

Family Limacodidae 

Thosea rufimacula. — Lufira Valley, November, one female. Also known 
from Portuguese East Africa. 

Family Uraniidae 

Epiplema costilinea. — One female from Ujiji district, July. Also known 
from Uganda. 

Family Zygaenidae 

Netrocera jordani. — Kivu, October, two males. 

Pedoptila nigrocristata. — North-east Rhodesia, April, one female. 

Semioptila In/irensis. — Lufira Valley, September, five males. 



276 



Tables 

The following tables give the rainfall for the north end of Lake 
Kivu, a high mountainous region intermediate between the steppes 
of the east and the forests of the west. Similar rainfall conditions 
may be said to prevail as far south as the second degree south of the 
Equator, after which the duration of the dry and the wet seasons 
becomes more marked, until they emerge into the clearly- defined 
six wet and six dry months experienced in the regions of South 
Tanganyika and Nyasaland. 



Recorded at Bobandana. North Kivu Region 
1,534 metres a.s.l. 







No. of days on 


Amount in 


Year. 


Month. 


which rain fell. 


millimetres 


1916. 


January . . 


. . Unrecorded 


— 




February 


II 


45 




March 


17 


115 




April • .. 


23 


350 




May 


26 


276 




June 


8 


75 




July .. .. 


5 


33 




August . . 


8 


38 




September 


13 


169 




October . . 


9 


107 




November 


8 


261 




December 


II 


192 




Total . . 




1,661 



277 



Tables 



Year. Month. 

1917 January 

February 

March 

April 

May 

June 

July 

August 
September 
October . 
November 
December 



Total 



No. of days on 
which rain fell. 


Amount in 
millimetres 


Unrecorded . 


— 


17 


161 


23 


158 


27 


414 


26 


376 


9 


45 


3 


18 


9 


19 


19 


184 


17 


230 


16 


93 


10 


79 



i>777 



Year. Month. 

1 918 January 
February 
March 
April 
May 
June 
July 
August 
September 
October . 
November 
December 



Total 



No. of days on 
which rain fell. 


Amount in 
millimetres. 


. 17 

5 

15 


218 

64 

118 


13 


240 
164 


■ — 


39 


8 


17 
51 


15 

17 

9 


114 

206 

63 


5 


49 



1.343 



278 



Tables 



Year. 
1919. 



Month. 
January 
February 
March 
April 
May 
June 

July 

August 
September 



No. of days on 
which rain fell. 


Amount in 
millimetres. 


15 


117 


13 


88 


13 


75 


22 


114 


18 


207 


7 


54 


7 


61^ 


7 


92 1 


14 


65" 



Unrecorded after September. 



The following records were made at Avakubi on the Ituri River, 
in the central Ituri forest region about 1° 20' north of the Equator, 



Year. 
1917 



Avakubi. Ituri River. 
580 metres a.s.l. 



Month. 
January , 
February 
March 
April 
May 
June 
July 
August 
September 
October . . 
November 
December 



No. of daj^s on 
which rain fell. 

9 
8 


Am.ount in 
millimetres. 

64 

87 


7 


131 


9 

13 


145 

285 


7 


103 


5 


112 


4 
Unrecorded . 


49 


5 
5 


67 
66i 


3 


50 



Total 



1,1591 



279 



Tables 



Year. Month. 

191 8. January 
February 
March 
April 
May 
June 
July 
August 
September 
October . , 
November 
December 



Total 



. of days on 


Amount in 


ich rain fell. 


millimetres 


Nil. 


Nil. 


8 


108 


13 


67I 


II 


I07i 


9 


95i 


6 


72 


5 


46 


10 


190 


8 


77 


8 


171 


8 


1x6 


6 


lOI 



i>i5ii 







No. of days on 


Amount in 


Year. Month. which rain fell. 


millimetres 


1919. January . . 




7 


59i 


February 




.11 


80J 


March 




9 


135 


April 




II 


167 


May 




14 


123 


June 




15 


151^ 


July .. . 




12 


146 


August . . 




10 


154 


September 




17 


237 


October . . 




12 


123 


November 




16 


200 


December 




12 


97 



Total 



i,673j 



280 



Index 



Index 



Aard-Vark, ill. facing p. 183. 

Acacia thorns, 105 

African Education Committee, 222 

Africa, peopling of, xxviii, xxix 

Akanyaru River, 35, 38 

Albertine Rift Valley, xxxiv 

Albertville, 9, 213 

Albino Negro children, ill. facing p. 3 

Alpine flora, 82, 88, 138, 140 

Amissi (Pygmy-Arab half cast), 160 

Ankora, 7, 8 

Antelope, near L. Edward, 102, in, 113 

Ants, stink (enemies of butterflies), 255 ; 

white, 56, 187 
Aout, Mons. d', notes on Wabali tribes by, 

196 et seq. 
Apes, anthropoid, xxi et seq. ; fossil 

remains, xxvii 
Api, elephant farm at, 179 
Armstrong, General, on Negro education, 

221 
Avakubi, oil industry of, 193 ; rainfall of, 

275 ; rubber industry of, 194 
Awa-ruanda, 92 
Awemba, the, 19 



Babali, the, 195 et seq. ; customs of, 204 
et seq. 

Baboons, on shores of L. Edward, 124 

Bafwasende, 195 ; marriage laws, 203 

Bahuku Plateau, 175 

Bahuni, the (Cannibal tribe), 116, 125, 132 

Bahutu natives, 97 

Baira, native market at, 26 

Baluba natives, extermination of, 7 

Ballez, Mons. (Customs officer at Kasindi), 
126 

Bamboo, 26, 136 

Banana, 25, 135, 148 ; method of planting, 
163 ; Pygmies' staple food, 163 

Bangweulu, Lake, 190 

Barundi, burial customs of, 29 ; descrip- 
tion of, 33 ; love of cattle, 27, 33 ; 
porters, 27 

Bats (enemies of moths), 256 

Battel, Andrew, xxii 

Batwa natives, pastimes of, 45, 46 

Baunga natives, 190 

Beans, at foot of Ruwenzori Mts., 135 

Bega, the, a Watusi clan, 42 



Belgian administration, appreciation of, 
92; African Club, 214 ; Congo, develop- 
ment and resources summarised, 212 
et seq.; statistics, 215; future of, 
220 et seq. ; Game Laws and Licences, 99 

Beringer, Oscar, xxi, xxiv 

Biltong (dried meat of Big Game), 243 

Birthplace of man, probable, xxviii 

Bobandana, Mission Station, 89, 90 ; 
rainfall at, 273 

Boga (old Belgian post), 175 

Boll worm, 237 

Bongo, 189, 195 

Bonneau (Father Superior of Mugera 
Mission), 31 

Brontosaurus, story of, 189; local belief 
in, 191 

Buck, 103 ; see also bushbuck and reed- 
buck 

Buffalo, holds up camp, 103-4 ; near 
L. Kissale, 7 ; nearL. Edward, 119, 129 ; 
pygmy red forest, 151 ; red, 195 

Bugoie (Kasiba) Forest, chimpanzi hunt 
in, 51 ; dwarf elephants in, 225 ; dwarfs, 

49 

Bukama, coal discovered south of, 212 ; 
description of, 5 

Bunia, 183 

Burial murders, 171 ; customs of Barundi, 
29 

Burlace, J. B., 236 

Bushbuck, description of fight with 
python, 37 

Bustards, in 

Butahu (Butagu) River, 134, 135 

Butterflies, a remarkable specimen of, 253 ; 
enemies of, 254 ; feeding and flying habits, 
256 ; forms new to science collected by 
author, 277 ; found on summit of 
Niragongo, 76 ; in Semliki Valley, 166 ; 
utility of collecting, 252 



Camus, Captain, 17 

Camwood, 174 

Cannibal tribes, 125, 147 ; grave robbing 

by, 172 ; Lt. Demanie killed by, 132 ; 

see Bahuni, Wakobi, Wanandi, and 

Wambuba. 
Cannibalism, history of, 170 et seq. 
Cape to Cairo Railway, 2 



283 



Index 



Cardamoms, i6o 

Carriers, see porters 

Cattle, 25, 59 ; Barundi and Wahutu love 
of, 27, 28; of Ruanda, 216; in Ujiji 
district, 48 

Cerebro Spinal Meningitis, 89 

Chaillu, Paul du, works on Gorillas, xxiii 

Chegera, 90 

Chevrotain, water, 189 

Chimpanzi, distribution of, xxiii, xxiv ; 
first accounts of, xxii ; hunt, 51 ; sleep- 
ing place of, 51 

Chimpelwi, belief in existence of, 190 

Chohoa, Lake, 32, 34, 35 

Cinematography of wild life, eh. xvii, 
266 et seq. 

Coal, 212, 216 

Cobalt, 216 

Cocoa, plantations of, 217 

Compagnie des Grands Lacs, 8 

Companies and Financiers interested in 
the Congo, 4, 186, 214, 216 

Congo, Belgian {see Belgian Congo) ; con- 
formation of Basin, xxxiii ; Nile Water- 
shed, 96, 100, 175 ; report on Entomo- 
logy of the, 257 

Copal digging industry, 217 

Copper smelting, 212 

Cotton planting, 217 

Crocodile, in the grip of a, 240 

Cross, William (Prospector of Kilo Mines), 
192 

Customs, see Native 



Dances, native, 44, 45, ill. facing p. 52; 152 

Defawe, Lt. (in charge of Niansa), 39 

Deforestation, effects of, 15 

Defries, his story of unknown water 
animal, 192 

Demanie, Lt. (killed by Cannibals), 132 

Diamond mines at Kasai, 217 

Diseases of natives, Cerebral Meningitis, 
89 ; Elephantiasis, 188 ; Leucoderma, 
188 ; Sleeping Sickness, 130, 155 ; Yaws, 
188 

DoUman (Entomologist) 249 

Dragonflies, 255 

Drum signalling, 148 ; example of effi- 
ciency of. 168 

Duiker, yellow-backed, 195 



Education of natives, 221 

Edward, Lake, 98 ; Big Game round, 

ch. IX, 107 et seq. ; Cannibals of, 99 ; 

fishing in, 121 
Eede, Major van den, 39 
Elephants, " Bamboo," 225 dwarf, 225 ; 



farm at Api, 179; hunting adventures, 
175 et seq. 228 etseq.; hunting grounds 
recommended, 224, 227; habits, 178; 
Natural History Museum specimen, 
dimensions of, 233 ; story of capture, 
22Setseq.i near L. Kissale, 7 ; skinning 
an, 234-5 ; sub-species of, xxi ; traps, 
227 

Elizabethville, development of, 2 ; cost 
of living at, 4 

Epulu (Haulo) River, 188 

Entomologist, field notes of, 250 et seq. ; 
qualifications of, 249 ; outfit of, 249 

Entomology, African, 248 et seq. 

Export statistics for 191 4 and 1920, 217, 
218 



Financiers interested in Congo, see 
Companies 

Fish-eagle (on L. Edward), 119 

Fish-fauna of L. Tanganyika, 12 

Fishing (on L. Edward), 121 

Flies, see tsetse and mayflies 

Flying squirrel, 166 

Forest hog, in ; lands of C. Africa, 146 

Fossils, of gigantosaurus, 191 ; of an- 
thropoid ape, xxvii 

Foster, the brothers, hunting feats of, 89, 
95 ; story of elder brother's death by a 
lion, 105, 106 

Fourget, Mons,, loi, 112, et seq. 

Fox-bat, 141 

Fraas, Professor, xxvii 

Franck, Mons. (Belgian Colonial Minister) 
213 

Frogs (enem.ies of butterflies), 255 

Funda River, 52 

Fungarumi, 2 

Funtumia rubber trees, 194 



Game laws and licences (Belgian), 99 ; 

in Ituri Forest, 224 ; in Ruindi Plains, 

103 et seq.] in Wamba Forest, 189; 

round L. Edward, loi et seq 
Genet, 167 

Geomine tin mines, 216 
" George Grenfell and the Congo," by 

Sir H. H. Johnston, 171 
German East Africa, 29 ; Campaign, 9 ; 

Railway plans, 92, 93 
Geysers, 10 1 
Ghouls, see Cannibals 
Gibbons (Game Hunter), 126 
Gigantosaurus, fossil of, 191 
Glossinia Palpalis, see tsetse fly- 
Gold mines, 183, 216; district of N.E. 

Congo, 216 



284 



Index 



Gold Schmidt, Robert, 214 

Gorillas, discovery of and first eastern 
specimen, xxi, xxii ; distribution of, 
xxiv-vi ; favourite food of, 82 ; hunt, 
83 et seq. ; measurements of, 87 ; sleeping 
place of, 82 

Gottorp, salt mines and works at, 18 

Gouldsbury, CuUen xiii, quotations from, 
as chapter headings throughout book 

Gotzen, Count von, 65, 67 

Grenfell, George, grave of, 222 

Grey, Earl, 214 

Guggenheimer, 214 

Guides, see porters 

Guinea fowls, 1 1 1 

Gways (companion of author on elephant 
hunts), 238 



Hailstorm, a terrible, 144 

Haulo River, see Epulu 

Heath fire (on Ruwenzori Mts.), 138-9 

Heather, 74, 136 

Hippos., in Ruchuru River, 102 ; near 

L. Edward, iiy et seq. 
Hog, giant forest, 1 1 1 
Hollants, Commander, 72, 89 
Hyrax (tree), 189 



Ibima River, 147 

Irumu, ivory trade of, 181 ; description of, 
182 

Ishumu (high priests of Mambela rites), 
197. 198 

Itoa River, 147, 176 

Ituri Forest, 88, 174; hunting oppor- 
tunities of, 224; insect pests of, 187, 188 

Ituri River, 182 ; Valle5^ ivory trade 
of. 182 

Ivory, changes in colour, 126, 225, 226 ; 
cost of, 194 ; trade, 181-183 



Jadot, the brothers, 214 

Johnston, Sir H, H., discovery of Okapi, 
133. 154 ." introduction by, i-xxxv ; 
notes by, 63, 69, 70, 79, 116, 150, 157, 
169, 190 

Joicey, J. J., dedication to, acknowledg- 
ment of help from, xiv 

Joko Punda, 213 

Jurassic Sea, theory of, 12 



Kabalo, 8; new warehouse at, 213 

Kabare, 98, 123 

Kagera River, 35, 92 

Kalambo Falls and River, 12, 13 



Kalengwe River, 5 

Kalimba (Watusi sub-chief). 25 

Kalongi (village at foot of Ruwenzori 

Mts.). 135. 136 
Kalule River, 5 
Kamsonsa River, 136 
Kaninya Mission, 35 
Kanyamwamba River, 136 
Karema mica mine, 30 
Karisimbi, 75, 76, 77 ; description of 

68-69 ; ascent of and flora, 88 
Kasai diamond mine, 217; River, 213 
Kasali Mountains, 98, 102 
Kaseke, 92 

Kasiba Forest, see Bugoie 
Kasindi, 98 
Kasulu fort, 23. 24 
Katanga, climate of, 3 ; Comite special 

de, 4; food supply of, 219; labour 

conditions of. 218-219; methods of 

approach, 2 ; minerals of, 1 
Katushi (village), 166 
Kibati, dearth of water at, 73 
Kigoma, 9 ; bombing of, 10 ; Bay, 

development of, 14, 15 ; Tabora 

Railway Line, 17 
Kihofi, 27 

Kilo-Moto Gold Mines, 183 el seq. 
King Albert, 214 
Kisenji, 55. 56, 72, 89, 225 
Kinshasa, railway plans for, 213 
Kissale Lake, centre of palm oil in- 
dustry, 7 
Kitega, 29 ; native celebrations of Belgian 

Independence Day at, 30, 31 
Kivu Lake, 34, 48 ; cost of living in 

district, 58 ; description of 56 et seq. ; 

rainfall statistics. 273-76; volcanic 

eruptions near, 65 et seq. 
Kob antelopes, iii, 113 



Labour, see Native labour 

Lakes. Chohoa, 32, 34, 35 ; Edward, 95, 
98, 99, 107, 116, 121; Kissale, 7; 
Kivu, 34, 47, 56, 273, 276 ; Leopold II, 
222; Mohazi, 36; Moho. 102; Mutanda, 
100 ; Mweru, 3, 8 ; Tanganyika, 8, 
ch. II, II et seq., 30; Towa, 9 

Lankester, Sir E. Ray, 228 

Lemurs (enemies of moths), 256 

Leocque, Lt., 72 

Leopard, the forest, 157, 195 

Leopards, Human Society of, 206-8 ; 
claw knives used by Human Leo- 
pards, 208 ; initiation into Society, 
209. 

Leopold II, Lake, 222 

Lesi, 170 



285 



Index 



Leucoderma, i88 

Leverhulme, Lord, 214, 216 

Lewis (companion on elephant hunts), 

238 et seq. 
Licences, Belgian game, 99 
Likasi, copper mines at, 3 ; railway 

development of, 3 
Lindi River, 125, 194 
Lions, Native superstitions re, 109 ; on 

Ruindi Plains, 103, 106, 109 ; parental 

affection of, 108 ; race suicide of, 107 
Lippens, Mons., Governor-General of B. 

Congo, 214 
Lizards, small, ill. facing p. 6, 255 
Lobito Bay Railway, 213 
Loya Valley, 180 

Lualaba Valley and mines west of, i 
Lufira River, 3 ; Valley, 4 
Lufubu River, 3 ; Valley, 4 
Lukuga River, 8 
Luvua River, 8, 227 



Maduali, the (fetish of the Wabali), 202 
Maji-ya-moto (boiling springs), 10 1 
Malagarasi River, 23, 25, 26 
Malfert, General, 16, 214 
Mambela (secret society of Wabali tribes), 

195 et seq. ; ceremonies, religious rites, 

initiation of probationers, etc. 
Mangoes, 193 
Manika Plateau, agricultural conditions, 4 ; 

position and climate, 5 
Marabou storks, 13 

Marriage (in Bafwasende district), 203 
Marsula's Country (Cannibal area), 175 
Matadi, 213 

Mayflies (on L. Edward), 116 
Mbeni, 127; sleeping sickness hospital at, 1 30 
Mbusi Bay, 51. 
Mecklinburg, Duke of, 67 
Meulemeester, Colonel de, 214 
Mgahinga Volcano, 63, 70 
Mhutu guide, 83 
Mica mines, 30 
Mikeno Volcano, description of, ill. facing 

p. 60, 69 ; ascent of, flora, 88 
Minerals of B. Congo, 216 
Miners, conditions of, etc., 2 
Mines, Coal, 212, 216; cobalt, 216; 

copper, 3, 212; diamond, 213, 217; gold, 

I, 183, 185, 216; mica, 30; salt, 18; 

tin, 216 
Mobira Woman, ill. facing p. 182. 
Moera (a Wanandi chief), 147, 159, 163 
Mohazi Lake, 36 
Moho Lake, 102 

Monkeys, collection of skins of, 167 
Moore, J. E. S., 12, ^^, 67 



Mopani (tree resembling maidenhair), 239 

Mosquitos, at Kabalo, 8 ; in Ituri Forest, 
187 

Moths, enemies of, 256 ; parasitic lavae of, 
257 ; specimens new to science dis- 
covered by Author, 280 

Moto Gold Mines, 216 

Moulaert, Colonel, 185, 214 

Mountain sickness, 142 

Mountains of the Moon, see Ruwenzori 
Mts. 

Mount Stanley, 142 

Msinga, Sultan Juhi, 41, 42 ; visit to 
harem of, 43 

Muganda boy, a, 20 

Mugera Mission, 31 

Muhavura Volcano, 63, 70 

Murunda, 49 

Mutanda Lake, 100 

Mweru Lake, 3, 8 



Namlagira, 79, 95, 100 

Nasasa (sacred bird of Wabali tribes), 200 

Native labour for mines, 2, 218, 219; 

market at Baira, 26 ; customs and 

superstitions re charms for babies, 173 ; 

death, 29, 158 ; heather, 145 ; lions, 109 ; 

rain, 97 ; pythons, 37 ; of Wabali 

Tribes, 196 et seq. 
Neanderthaloid man, xxv, xxvii 
Niansa (Nyansa), 39, 43, 44, 47 
Nightjars (enemies of moths), 250 
Niragongo Volcano, ascent of, 72 et seq. 

description of, 67 ; flora of, 73 
Njawarongo River, 47 
Njundo Mission, 52 
Nyakasu escarpment, 28 



Oil palms, 7, 193 ; industry, 7, 216 
Okapi, description of, 152; hunt, 150; 
finding of, in Semliki Forest, 161 ; 
range of, 133, 147 ; Sir H. H. John- 
ston's account of his discovery of 

154 
Ordnance Survey Maps, 35 
Oso River, 103 
Owen, Professor, xiii 
Owls (enemies of moths), 256 



Palms, borassus, elais, ivory, nut, 
Palpalis (Glossinia), see tsetse fly 
Paltothyreus (stink ant), 255 
Papyrus, 7, 38 
Parrot, grey, 156 
Pelicans, 121 
Penghe, 192 

286 



oil, 7 



Index 



P^re Lens, 147 

Photography, outfit for tropical work, 
difficulties of, etc., oh. xvii ; 266 
et seq. 

Pieters, Mons., 24 

Platinum, 216 

Pombe (native beer), 159 

Ponthierville, 213 

Porters, native, training of, 18, 19 ; 
Achewa, 235 ; Angoni, 235 ; Barundi, 
27 ; Batwa, 50 ; Mhutu, 83 ; Muganda, 
20, 21; Swahli, 18, 19; Waha, 19; 
Wahutu, 77; Wanandi, 134 

Portuguese Angola, native miners of, 2 

Potto Lemur, 157 

Pygmies, as trackers, 227 ; dance of, 152 ; 
distribution of, 162 ; home life of, 164 ;• 
hunt, 149 ; language of, 162 ; music of, 
152 ; weapons of, 164 

Python, 36 ; fight with bushbuck, 37 



Railways, Cape to Cairo, 2 ; Kigoma- 
Tabora Line, 17 ; Kinshasa, plans for, 
213 ; Lobito Bay, 213 

Rainfall statistics, see Appendix, 273 

Rainy season, the, a warning, 34 

Raphia palms, ill. facing p. 7 

Reed beds, 117 

Reed, buck, in 

Rhinoceros, range of, xxxi 

Rhodes Cecil, favourite lion story of, 
123 

Rice, 216 

Rift Valley Mountains, 112, 129 

Rinderpest, 98 

Rivers. Akanyaru, 35, 38 ; Bua, 229 ; 
Butahu, 134 ; Chambezi, 243 ; Epulu, 
188 ; Funda, 52 ; Ibima, 147 ; Itoa, 
147, 176; Kagera, 35, 92; Kalambo, 
12 ; Kalengwe, 5 ; Kalule, 5 ; Kamsonsa, 
136; Karyamwamba, 136; Lualaba;, 
I ; Luangwa, 238 ; Lufubu, 3 ; Lukuga, 
8 ; Luvua, 8, 227 ; Lindi, 125, 194 ; 
Malagarasi, 16, 18, 19, 23, 26; Njawa- 
rongo, 47 ; Oso, 103 ; Ruchugi, 16 ; 
Ruchuru, 98 ; Ruindi, 102 ; Ruvubu, 
34; Sabaka, 23; Semliki, 124; Shari, 
182 

Rowland Ward & Co., 228 

Ruanda, Belgian occupation of, 93, 94 ; 
King of, 25, 27, 35, 38 ; races of, 40 

Rubber, cost of, 194 ; in North Central 
Congo Basin, 216 

Rubengera, 47, 48, 49 

Ruchugi River, 16 

Ruchuru (Government station), 98, 99 ; 
plains, fruits and flowers of, loi ; 
River, 100, 10 1 



Rugari, 96 

Ruindi Plains, 91 ; River (unmapped), 
102, 105 

Ruvubu River, 34 

Ruwenzori Mountains (Mountains of the 
Moon), 28, 122, 127; ascent of, 134 
et seq.; earlier climbers of, 134 ; flora, 
136 ; insects and animals on, 143 ; 
records of previous climbers found, 140, 
141 



Sabaka River (haunt of Big Game), 23 

Sabinyo Volcano, 70 

Sacre Coeur Mission, 133 

Salt mines and works, 18 ; Pygmies' love 

of, 149 
Saurian, belief in existence of gigantic, 

191 
Schweinfurth (explorer), xxiii 
Semliki Forest, 146 et seq.; River, 124, 

127 ; Valley, tsetse flies in, 127 
Senecios, 74, 76, 88, 138 
Senguli Gold Mines, 185, 216 
Serimani (native chief), 175 
Settlers, need for encouragement of and 

opportunities for, 4, 58 
Shari River, 182 
Sharpe, Sir A., 53 ; description of volcanic 

eruption by, 66 
Signalling, drum, 148, 168; trumpet, 

148, 177 
Sleeping Sickness, extermination of Baluba 

Natives b}'-, 7 ; Hospital at Mbeni, 130, 

263 ; in Luanga Valley, 237 
Society of Human Leopards, 206 et seq. 
Spicer-Simpson, Commander, 9 
Spiders (enemies of moths), 256 
Squirrel, flying, 166 
Stanley and Sir H. H. Johnston, 154 
Stanley Falls, 210 
Stanley Mountains, 142 
Stanleypool, 222 
Stanleyville, 99, 210, 213 
Steamers : Baron Dhanis, 13 ; Baron 

Janssen, 6 ; Baron von Gotzen, 14 ; 

Semois, 212 
Storks, 13, ill. facing p. 94 
Sundew, African, 256 
Superstitions, see native 
Swahili natives, 19 
Swamps, papyrus, 7, 38 
Swifts (enemies of butterflies), 256 



Tabora Railway, 9, 92 

Talbot, G. (Curator of Hill Museum), 

acknowledgment to, xiv, 248, 
Tanagra Collection, xxvi 



287 



Index 



Tanganyika Lake, i, ch. ii et seq. ; fish- 
fauna of, 12 ; geological formation of, 
56; isolation of 11, 12; Territory, 29; 
Naval Expedition, 9 

Tania, 13 

Tata-Ka-Mambela (Grand Master of the 
Mambela), 197 

Tin, 216 

Tobacco, 54 

Tombeur, General, 214 

Topi, III 

Towa Lake, 9 

Trade. Banana, 25, 30, 135. 148, 163 ; 
cattle, 25, 27, 28 ,48, 59 ; coal, 212, 216 ; 
cobalt, 216; cocoa, 217 ; coffee, 95, 98 ; 
copal, 217; cotton, 217; diamonds, 
217 ; gold, I, 183, 216 ; ivory, 126, 181, 
194, 226 ; mangoes, 193 ; mica, 30 ; 
oil, 7, 93, 193; platinum, 216; rice, 
216; rubber, 194, 216; salt, i6, 18; 
tin, 216 ; tobacco, 54 ; uranium, 216 

Traps, chimpanzi, 51; elephant, 227; 
monkey, 167 ; of Semliki natives, 167 

Trumpet signalling, 148, 177 

Tsetse fly, decrease of, 4, ; in Ituri Forest 
187; in Luangwa Valley, 237; in 
Semliki Valley, 127 

Turaco, the blue, 156 



Ujiji, 14, 15. 23, 24 

Ulimbi Mountain, 138 

Union Colonial Beige, 214; Miniere du 

Haut Katanga, i 
Uranium, 216 
Urundi, 16, 26 ; Belgian occupation of, 

93. 94 



Vanderghorte, Mons., 98 



Verhulst, Mons., 225 

Veronica, purple, 26 

Victoria Nyanza Basin, 29 

Virunga (Mfumbiro) Mountains, 25, 28, 

60 et seq. 
Visoke (Kisasa or Bisoko), Volcano, 70 
Vulcanology, 60 et seq. details of Volcanoes 

composing Virunga Range, 67 et seq. ; 

description of volcanic eruption, 66, 67 



Wabali, the customs of, 195 et seq. 
Wa-bisa Women, ill. facing p. 19 
Wagtail, pied (enemies of butterflies), 

254 
Waha porters, 19 
Wahenga, the, 33 
Wahutu herdsman, 48 
Wakobi, the, 125 
Wambuba Cannibals, ch. xii, 166 et seq.', 

description of, 176 
Wambute, the, see Pygmies 
Wanandi, the, huts of, 173 ; paddlers, 122 
Wanya-ruanda, the, a curious custom of, 

97; ill. facing p. loi 
Wart-hog, iii 
Water buck, no 
Watusi, the, 33, ill. facing p. 22 ; King of, 

39 ; history and eulogy of, 40 ; women 

of, 43. 44 
White Fathers, the, 31, 49, 52, 53 
Williams, Robert, 186, 214 
Willmar, Gernaert-, 29, 31 



Yiya (dwarf mountain elephant), 189 



Zebra, range of, xxxi 
Zerophite, 105 



288 



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